Purdue Overcomes Deficit To Defeat Washington, 34-24
El Paso, Texas (December 31, 2002) — The Purdue Boilermakers made up for last year’s Sun Bowl loss with a 34-24 win over the Washington Huskies in the 69th annual Wells Fargo Sun Bowl today in front of a crowd of 48,917 at Sun Bowl Stadium.
Washington opened the game with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Cody Pickett to Patrick Reddick just five minutes into the game. On Purdue’s next possession, Husky Marquis Cooper recovered a fumble and went 31 yards for Washington’s second touchdown of the game. With 3:49 left in the first quarter, Washington’s John Anderson hit a 38-yard field goal to give the Huskies a 17-point lead to begin the second quarter.
Kyle Orton threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns en route to C.M. Hendricks Most Valuable Player Honors. (Javier Vicencio Photo)
However, the momentum changed in the second quarter. Kyle Orton, who rewrote the Sun Bowl passing record book in last year’s game, found John Standeford to post Purdue’s first points of the game on the scoreboard. With just 35 seconds remaining in the first half, Purdue’s Ray Williams scored on a fumble recovery to bring the Boilermakers within three points (14-17) heading into the locker room.
Purdue had control of the entire third quarter. Berin Lacevic kicked a 22-yard field goal to tie the game (17-17). On Washington’s next possession, Purdue’s Niko Koutouvides intercepted Pickett’s pass. The Boilermakers did not capitalize on the turnover, but with 3:33 left in the quarter, Purdue’s Joey Harris ran the ball in for a touchdown to give the Boilermakers their first lead of the game (24-17). With about two minutes left in the quarter, Purdue linebacker Gilbert Gardner forced - and recovered - a Pickett fumble and ran 19 yards to the endzone to increase his team’s lead to 31-17.
There was not much scoring the beginning of the fourth quarter. With 5:52 remaining in the game, Purdue’s Lacevic kicked a 29-yard field goal – the Boilermakers’ final points of the game. Washington answered with 3:31 remaining in the game with a 12-yard Pickett pass to Reddick to bring the Huskies within 10 points (34-24). The Boilermakers punted on their next possession. Washington worked its way down to the 24-yard-line, where John Anderson’s field goal attempt hit the upright and bounced out, with just 15 seconds remaining in the game. Purdue let the time expire and walked away with its first-ever Sun Bowl victory.
Cody Picket held Washington jump out to a 17-point lead, but the Huskies could not hold on in the second half. (Brian Kanof Photo)
Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton earned the C.M. Hendricks Most Valuable Player Trophy. Orton completed 25 of 37 passes (.676) for 283 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Orton’s longest completion of the day was 29 yards.
Purdue wide receiver Anthony Chambers earned the John Folmer Most Valuable Special Teams Player trophy. Chambers had a kickoff return of 51 yards; Purdue’s longest of the season. Chambers had an additional two punt returns for 13 yards (12 yards was his longest return).
Purdue defensive end Shaun Phillips received the Jimmy Rogers Jr. Most Valuable Lineman trophy. Phillips recorded three tackles (all solo), one pass deflection and one sack.
Washington’s first touchdown by wide receiver Patrick Reddick was set up by a Purdue muffed punt on the previous play. In the 2001 Rose Bowl, Washington’s first touchdown was also set up by a Purdue muffed punt.
Washington inside linebacker Marquis Cooper had a 31-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown in the first quarter. The last time Washington had a fumble recovered for a touchdown was against Idaho on Sept. 28, 2002.
With his 38-yard field goal in the first quarter, Washington kicker John Anderson has now kicked a field goal in four consecutive bowl games. He had two vs. Kansas State in the 1999 Holiday Bowl, two vs. Purdue in the 2001 Rose Bowl and three vs. Texas in the 2001 Holiday Bowl.
Washington’s 17 first quarter points ties the most points scored in the opening quarter for the Huskies this year. Washington also had 17 points vs. Oregon State in a 41-29 win on Nov. 9, 2002.
Purdue wide receiver John Standeford had 10 receptions for a total of 105 yards. His 189 career receptions moves him from fourth to second on Purdue’s all-time receptions list. Also, Standeford’s touchdown reception in the second quarter ties the school single season record for most touchdown receptions (13) set by Vinny Sutherland in 2000.
Purdue linebacker Gilbert Gardner had a 19-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown in the third quarter. The last time Purdue had a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown was against Michigan State on Nov. 17, 2001 (Craig Terrill, 12-yard return). This marks the third defensive touchdown for Purdue this season and the 18th under coach Joe Tiller.
Purdue was down 17-0 to Washington at the end of the first quarter and rallied to score 34 unanswered points in the remaining three quarters. This marks the largest amount of unanswered points scored by Purdue this season. The second most was 24 points in a 38-31 loss to Illinois on Sept. 21, 2002.
Washington set Sun Bowl records for most penalties (13) and most penalty yards (118). The penalty record was previously held by Texas Tech vs. Pacific (12) in the 1952 Sun Bowl. The penalty yardage record was previously held by Southwestern vs. Mexico University (109) in the 1945 Sun Bowl.
The attendance of 48,917 is the 8th-highest attendance in Sun Bowl history.