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No. 24 Penn State routs Purdue, becomes bowl eligible

No. 24 Penn State routs Purdue, becomes bowl eligible
Published On: Sat, Oct 29
Sep 10, 2016; Hattiesburg, MS, USA; Southern Miss Golden Eagles quarterback Parker Adamson (3) makes a throw in the second quarter against the Savannah State Tigers at M.M. Roberts Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Penn State coach James Franklin doesn't like to think of his 24th-ranked Nittany Lions as a second-half team, but even Franklin acknowledges that's exactly what they may be.

A week ago, they rallied from a 21-7, third-quarter deficit to stun then No. 2 Ohio State, 24-21.

On Saturday, Penn State turned two third-quarter turnovers into touchdowns and defeated Purdue 62-24, snapping a seven-game road losing streak and becoming bowl eligible in the process.

The Nittany Lions (6-2, 4-1 in the Big Ten) were 4-0 in October and beat Purdue (3-5, 1-4) for an eighth consecutive time, dating to a Boilermakers victory in 2004.

Trace McSorley completed 12 of 23 passes 228 yards and a career-best three touchdowns, and Saquon Barkley rushed 18 times for 207 yards and two scores, including an 81-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Penn State broke away from a halftime tie and outscored Purdue 45-7 in the final 30 minutes. The 62 points are the most scored by a Boilermaker opponent in Ross-Ade Stadium history, replacing the 56 scored by Ohio State in a 56-0 drubbing in 2013.

"I don't want to say we're a second-half team -- I don't like being called that -- but in the locker room, we decided we were a second-half team," Franklin said.

"We knew we were going to have a battle. Early in the game, we just made too many mistakes. We usually are one of the most disciplined teams in football. Overall, we were able to make some plays in the second half, and their turnovers were huge."

The Nittany Lions extended their advantage to 31-17 with 8:17 remaining in the third quarter on Andre Robinson's 4-yard touchdown run on the second play after Purdue's Bilal Marshall fumbled a punt at his 24-yard line and Penn State's Jordan Smith recovered.

Barkley ran 20 yards on the next play.

Penn State took a 24-17 third-quarter lead on McSorley's 1-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin, capping a four-play, 24-yard drive after linebacker Brandon Smith intercepted a pass by Purdue quarterback David Blough and returned it 22 yards.

"We were talking at halftime about having a sense of urgency, and we came out in the second half with that in mind," McSorley said. "Everyone kind of loosened up in the second half.

"In the first half, we were playing tense. We weren't playing loose. We came out in the second half and played loose. I think the leadership at halftime was just a combination of everybody."

Tyler Davis' 33-yard field goal with 2:36 remaining in the second quarter pulled Penn State into a 17-17 halftime tie, capping an 11-play, 72-yard drive.

The Nittany Lions scored first, taking a 7-0 lead on Barkley's 3-yard touchdown run after he caught a 37-yard pass from McSorley to the Boilermaker three-yard-line.

Purdue tied it 7-7 on Markell Jones' 1-yard scoring run with 6:26 remaining in the first quarter. That drive included a 23-yard run by Jones.

The Boilermakers took a 14-7 lead with 14:32 left in the second quarter on Blough's 1-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Posey, capping a 13-play, 55-yard drive.

Blough completed 34 of 50 passes for 281 yards.

Penn State came right back to tie it at 14-14 on McSorley's 38-yard touchdown pass to Godwin with 12:33 to play in the first half. The Lions moved 79 yards to score the tying touchdown.

J.D. Dellinger's career-long 42-yard field goal gave Purdue a brief 17-14 second-quarter lead at the 6:57 mark.

"We had great energy in the first half, but then we came out at halftime, and what happened is completely on me," Purdue interim coach Gerad Parker said.

"When they went ahead in the second half, we didn't respond. We gave them three short fields with two turnovers and a failed onside kick, and then they just did what they do."

McSorley completed 8 of 14 first-half passes for 162 yards and one touchdown. Blough was 18 of 27 for 147 yards and a touchdown.

Purdue finished with four turnovers, all of which led to Penn State points.

"We have not taken care of the ball," a frustrated Blough said. "I cannot turn it over. I must have production when it matters."

In the last two games -- losses at Nebraska and to Penn State -- Purdue, which has lost three in a row, has been outscored 62-7 in the second half.

NOTES: Purdue came in 1-12 in its 13 most recent Big Ten home games. ... For a third consecutive game, Purdue played without DT Jake Replogle, who has had a concussion. Freshman Lorenzo Neal started in Replogle's place. ... Each of Purdue's three first-half scoring drives -- two touchdowns and a field goal -- covered 13 plays. ... Penn State came to West Lafayette having beaten the Boilermakers seven consecutive times by an average margin of 13.6 points. ... Purdue enjoyed a 210-196 advantage in first-half total offense.

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