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Purdue News

Boilers Stun Spartans In Big Upset

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Boilermaker fans celebrate another win over a top five opponent.

In a game that featured individual record-setting performances, the Purdue Boilermakers upset No. 5 Michigan State, 40-29, in West Lafayette Saturday night.

With the win the Boilers eclipsed the ever-sought-after sixth win, making them bowl eligible for the first time since 2018 when they played in the Music City Bowl against Auburn.

Purdue now sits in a tie for first in the Big Ten West with Minnesota Wisconsin and Iowa, all sharing a 4-2 conference record with three games left to play.

Purdue (6-3 overall) took the lead for good in the third quarter when running back King Dorue stretched the ball across the goal line from one yard out for a 28-21 advantage over the Spartans (8-1, 5-1).

Saturday’s win, plus the victory over then No. 2 Iowa earlier this season, gives Purdue two victories over top-five ranked teams in the same season for the first time since 1960 when the Boilers defeated No. 3 Ohio State and No. 1 Minnesota.

“To come out here and beat a really good Michigan State team, that was 8-0 and the way we did is a great testament (to the team),” said head coach Jeff Brohm after the game, “It’s truly just a great win for our program.”

Despite an up and down season, fifth-year senior Aidan O’Connell had an all-time passing performance with a career-high 536 yards. That’s good for third-most in a game in Purdue history. He also had a career-high 40 completions with three touchdowns.

“I thought (O’Connell) was really sharp,” said Brohm, “He spread it to a lot of guys all over the field. That's his strength, he’s accurate (and) he’s got great poise.”

With a 50-yard reception in the third quarter, junior receiver David Bell set a record for most games with 100 or more receiving yards in Purdue history (15) in only his 26th career game compared to 50 games by the previous record-holder, John Standeford. Bell, who leads the Big Ten in yards and receptions per game, finished with 11 catches for 217 yards and a touchdown.

“I’m sure there’s other really good receivers, but I don't see how you can do anything better than (Bell),” said Brohm, “I really don’t know what more he can prove.”

Purdue’s defense stood firm against the nation’s leading rusher Kenneth Walker III, holding him to just below his season average of 149.2 yards per game. The defense also netted a fumble recovery and an interception.

The Boilermakers will look to keep the train rolling next weekend when they play No. 6 Ohio State in Columbus.