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NCAA Football Recap (Purdue-Oklahoma St)
Posted: Tues December 30, 1997 at 11:56 p.m. ESTBilly Dicken threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Purdue ended a 17-year postseason drought with a 33-20 victory over Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl at San Antonio, Texas. Dicken completed 18-of-34 passes for 325 yards and three interceptions for Purdue, which was making its first trip to the postseason since a 27-24 loss to Virginia in the 1984 Peach Bowl. The Boilermakers had not won a bowl game since beating Missouri, 28-25, in the 1980 Liberty Bowl. Purdue, which improved to 5-1 all-time in bowl games, concluded the second-best turnaround in school history. In his first year as coach, Joe Tiller led Purdue to a 9-3 mark after a 3-8 campaign last season. The Boilermakers, who had a record of 21-42-3 in the six previous years under Jim Colletto, won nine games for just the ninth time in their 110-year history. Cornerback Adrian Beasley twice intercepted Oklahoma State's Tony Lindsay to set up the first two scores for Purdue, which held the Cowboys to 20 points or less for only the third time this season. Oklahoma State came in averaging just over 30 points per game. The Cowboys (8-4) were without their best player in tight end Alonzo Mayes, who had shoulder surgery last month. They were playing in the postseason for the first time since routing Wyoming, 62-14, in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. Oklahoma State concluded a turnaround of its own. They were a combined 27-59-3 in eight seasons since the depature of Heisman Trophy-winner Barry Sanders. After a first half that produced three field goals, turnovers by both teams and a 10-6 Purdue advantage, the Boilermakers exploded for three touchdowns in an eight-minute span of the third quarter. Beasley intercepted Lindsay near midfield on the first series of the second half, and Purdue built a 10-point lead on a one-yard dive by Dicken. Oklahoma State answered just three minutes later as Jamaal Fobbs took a handoff and sprinted around right end for a 21-yard TD. Purdue almost mirrored the Cowboys on its next possession, driving the length of the field in just 84 seconds and regaining a 10-point margin when wide receiver Vinny Sutherland took a handoff and raced around the left side for a 16-yard score. The Boilermakers stopped Oklahoma State and opened a 30-13 lead when Dicken threw over the middle for Chris Daniels, who sprinted untouched to the end zone, completing an Alamo Bowl record 69-yard scoring play. The third-quarter scoring spree was unusual for the Boilermakers, who had totaled just 57 points in the third period this year, their lowest output in any quarter. Purdue capped its second-highest postseason output with just over nine minutes remaining on Shane Ryan's 37-yard field goal. In 1978, the Boilermakers topped Georgia Tech, 41-21, in the Peach Bowl. The Cowboys closed the scoring with 55 seconds remaining on a 17-yard strike from Lindsay to R.W. McQuarters. It was the sixth score of the season for McQuarters, who, like Heisman Trophy-winner Charles Woodson, plays cornerback and wide receiver and returns punts. Oklahoma State took the lead on its initial possession, with Tim Sydnes' 18-yard field goal capping a nine-play, 63-yard drive. The Boilermakers drove inside Oklahoma State's 25-yard line on the ensuing possession, but cornerback Kevin Williams intercepted Dicken in the end zone. The Cowboys took over but Beasley picked off Lindsay two plays later and returned it to the OSU 28. Dicken hit Brian Alford on an 18-yard slant for a 7-3 lead. Late in the first half, the Cowboys drove 75 yards but were forced to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Sydnes. They had a chance for more following McQuarters' diving interception, but Sean Love gave the ball right back, fumbling a five-yard pass from Lindsay. Purdue capatalized, taking a 10-6 advantage into the locker room when Ryan connected on a 42-yard field goal with 15 seconds to play.
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