WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Northwestern linebacker Jimmy Hall set up 14 points with an interception and a fumble recovery, and the Wildcats beat Purdue 38-14 on Saturday.
A victory against Illinois on Nov. 29 would make the Wildcats (5-6, 3-4 Big Ten) bowl eligible. Northwestern last week upset Notre Dame 43-40 in overtime, snapping a four-game losing streak.
Wildcat quarterback Trevor Siemian hurt his left leg trying to pick up a first down and did not return. He was replaced by Zach Oliver.
Hall’s interception of a pass by Austin Appleby — one of four first-half Purdue turnovers — set up Northwestern’s first score, a 24-yard pass from Siemian to Dan Vitale.
Hall recovered a fumble by Akeem Hunt at the Northwestern 43, setting up a nine-play, 57-yard drive, capped by Justin Jackson’s 9-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead.
Jackson finished with 23 carries for 147 yards and two touchdowns.
Purdue (3-8, 1-6) has yet to win a Big Ten home game in coach Darrell Hazell’s two seasons, falling to 0-8.
The Wildcats took a 21-0 lead with 14:07 left in the second quarter when Tony Jones returned a short punt 64 yards for a score. It was the first time since the 2008 season that a Purdue opponent returned a punt for a touchdown.
Northwestern defensive end Deonte Gibson recovered a fumble by Appleby at the Purdue 18 with 4:15 remaining in the second quarter, setting up a 32-yard field goal by Jack Mitchell that gave the Wildcats a 24-0 lead.
Purdue drove 75 yards in 12 plays to pull within 24-7 with 37 seconds left in the first half, scoring on a 19-yard pass from Appleby to Hunt. Appleby added a second touchdown pass in the game’s final minute to account for the final score.
Northwestern dominated the first half statistically, running 50 plays for 242 yards, while Purdue’s 39 plays produced only 129 yards. Appleby threw an interception and a lost fumble during the first 30 minutes, and Hunt lost two fumbles in the first two quarters.
Before being injured, Siemian completed 7 of 12 passes for 93 yards and one touchdown. He also was intercepted once.
Purdue had the ball for 9:45 during the third quarter and missed a field goal when Paul Griggs’ 42-yard attempt bounced off the left upright.
Northwestern took a 31-7 lead with 14:06 remaining in the fourth quarter, getting a 1-yard touchdown run from Tim Hanrahan.
Jackson got his second touchdown of the day with a 68-yard run off right tackle with 9:14 to play, pushing the lead to 38-7.
The defeat extends Purdue’s losing streak to five. The Boilermakers have not won since beating Illinois 38-27 on Oct. 4 in Champaign, Illinois.
Purdue leads the all-time series against Northwestern, 50-28-1.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.