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Purdue University

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Associated Press
Purdue linebacker Will Lucas celebrates after recovering a fumble during the second half.

Purdue takes advantage of IU turnovers on way to win

– Frankie Williams drifted back, almost as if he were fielding a punt, and made a nice over-the-shoulder catch for an interception in the third quarter of Saturday’s Old Oaken Bucket game against Indiana.

The Purdue freshman cornerback then turned around and sprinted 33 yards to the Boilermakers’ 41.

Quarterback Robert Marve completed a 58-yard pass to tight end Crosby Wright on the next play and then quarterback Rob Henry scored on a 1-yard run. The Boilermakers turned four IU turnovers into 28 points on the way to a 56-35 victory over the Hoosiers in front of 42,638 Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium.

“Right after the half, the O-line coach, coach (Shawn) Clark, came up to us, and he said, ‘As long as you guys stop them, we’ll score points,’ ” Williams said. “After that, we took it upon ourselves to not just stop them, but to take it away from them.”

The turnovers played a crucial role in what turned into the highest-scoring Bucket game ever. The teams combined for 91 points breaking the previous high of 87 set in 2004.

“We can make better play calls,” Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said, “and I’m just as much a part of that as (Indiana quarterback) Cam (Coffman) is.”

Coffman passed for 348 yards and one touchdown. He also had three interceptions.

“It was disappointing. We can’t win football games when we turn the ball over in the second half,” Coffman said.

Williams’ interception, and the Henry touchdown, gave Purdue a 28-21 lead with 7:44 left in the third quarter.

Purdue linebacker Will Lucas recovered a D’Angelo Roberts fumble to end IU’s next drive. Three plays later, Henry threw a 25-yard touchdown to Gary Bush.

Indiana tied the game at 35, but Purdue regained the lead on a 73-yard pass play from Marve to running back Akeem Shavers.

And then Indiana turned the ball over two more times. Coffman was intercepted by strong safety Max Charlot, and Purdue capitalized five plays later with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Marve to Shavers.

Safety Antoine Lewis intercepted a pass to end IU’s next drive. He returned the pick 50 yards to the Hoosiers’ 4. Two plays later, Shavers scored on a 1-yard run for the game’s final points.

“That’s what we focus on, trying to create turnovers,” Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short said. “Max and Antoine stepped up big for us and we needed that.”

lpope@jg.net

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