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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson scores a touchdown during the first half against Purdue.

Sunday, November 12, 2017 1:00 am

Northwestern 23 Purdue 13

Wildcats' QB too much for Boilers

JOHN JACKSON | Associated Press

 EVANSTON, Ill. – Clayton Thorson had a pair of touchdowns, Charlie Kuhbander hit all three of his second-half field goal attempts and Northwestern won its fifth straight with a 23-13 victory over Purdue on Saturday night.

Thorson was 26 of 46 for 296 yards. He had an 11-yard TD pass to Bennett Skowronek and rushed for a 4-yard score. It was the 18th rushing touchdown of Thorson's career, tying him with Brett Basanez for third place for most by a quarterback in school history.

Skowronek had seven receptions for 117 yards. Justin Jackson was held to 46 yards on 25 carries for the Wildcats (7-3, 5-2 Big Ten).

Elijah Sindelar was 37 of 60 for 376 yards with two TDs and an interception for Purdue (4-6, 2-5). The sophomore established career highs in completions, attempts and passing yards.

Purdue was 1 for 4 on fourth down with the only conversion coming on a fake punt. The Northwestern defense came up with three stops on a fourth and short, including a fourth-and-1 from the Purdue 45 with just less than 14 minutes remaining.

Kuhbander hit a 36-yard field goal on the ensuing drive to give the Wildcats a 23-7 edge with just under 12 minutes to go. He has 12 field goals on the season to establish a new school record for a first-year player.

The takeaway

Purdue: There's little question the Boilermakers are improved, but they will need to win the final two regular-season games against Iowa and Indiana to become bowl eligible. Purdue's last bowl game was the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2013.

Northwestern: The Wildcats should be favored in their final two games (Minnesota and Illinois), meaning they have a good chance of amassing nine wins after starting the season 2-3. They also could break into the Top 25 for the first time this season.

Up next

Purdue visits No. 25 Iowa on Saturday, and Northwestern plays host to Minnesota on Saturday.