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  11/19/22 - QB Aidan OConnellrSr/2023, Purdue

  Aidan O'Connell threw two touchdown passes in his final home game and kept the Purdue Boilermakers in contention for the Big Ten West title with a 17-9 victory over Northwestern on Saturday. The former walk-on went 16 of 25 with 159 yards, hooking up with his childhood friend Charlie Jones six times for 46 yards and one score. Purdue (7-4, 5-3 Big Ten) could reach its conference championship game by winning its third straight next week coupled with an Iowa loss. Northwestern (1-10, 1-7) has lost 10 straight since an opening-day win over Nebraska in Ireland, this time in the starting debut of second-year quarterback Cole Freeman. The Wildcats had won the previous five road games in the series.

While the Wildcats kept the score close, they never had a chance to take the lead after O'Connell's throw across the field to Jones, who made an inside cut to evade a defender and took the ball across the goal line for an early 7-0 lead. The Wildcats made it 7-3 on a short field goal early in the second quarter, but O'Connell answered with a 3-yard TD pass to Payne Durham to make it 14-3 at halftime. Northwestern took over at midfield following a partially blocked punt early in the fourth quarter, which set up Evan Hull's 2-yard scoring run. But Freeman's 2-point conversion pass failed to keep it 14-9. Mitchell Fineran's 26-yard field goal with 7:08 left gave Purdue a 17-9 lead and the Boilermakers took the clock down to 22 seconds after its defense forced a late turnover on downs near midfield. Purdue has winning records in consecutive years for the first time since 1997-98 and back-to-back seven-win seasons for the first time since 2006-07. Freeman was 9 of 20 with 78 yards and one interception while losing a fumble. Hull finished with 22 carries for 105 yards. - Purdue/AP College Football

rSr/2023 QB Aidan OConnellPurdue
News Source: Purdue/AP College Football

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