No. 23 Northwestern stops Purdue, improves to 4-0
Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman had a career-high three receiving touchdowns for Northwestern as the visiting Wildcats defeated Purdue 27-20 on Saturday.
The victory put Northwestern (4-0, 4-0 Big Ten) at the top of the conference’s West standings with Purdue (2-1, 2-1) falling just off the pace in the West.
Chiaokhiao-Bowman, a senior wide receiver who entered the game with only one career touchdown, had eight catches for 86 yards.
While star wide receiver Rondale Moore did not play for the Boilermakers, David Bell continued his solid play with nine catches for 78 yards. Running back Zander Horvath also had 100 yards receiving and 21 more on the ground.
Northwestern opened the game with a methodic, well-executed first drive. Lasting exactly six minutes, the Wildcats drove 75 yards on 14 plays. Quarterback Peyton Ramsey ended it with an exclamation point, finding Chiaokhiao-Bowman on a slant route for his first TD.
After the two teams traded field goals, Ramsey tried to find Riley Lees over the middle, but the high pass landed in the arms of Purdue’s Cam Allen for an interception.
Purdue took advantage. On a fourth-and-one play from the Northwestern 40-yard line, quarterback Aidan O’Connell faked the handoff and found a wide-open Garrett Miller, who dashed into the end zone for the touchdown and a 10-all tie.
Northwestern responded on its next possession. Going to third down just once on the drive, the Wildcats quickly moved down the field before Ramsey found Chiaokhiao-Bowman in stride to put Northwestern up 17-10 with an 18-yard TD pass.
Chiaokhiao-Bowman grabbed his third touchdown in the third quarter. After O’Connell fumbled and Northwestern’s Paddy Fisher returned it to the Purdue 18, Ramsey found Chiaokhiao-Bowman wide open in the flat five plays later for a 5-yard score.
Purdue attempted a comeback in the fourth quarter, with O’Connell finding Milton Wright on a 14-yard TD pass to cut the deficit to 27-20 with 7:35 remaining. But the Boilmakers were not able to deliver again against a swarming Wildcats defense as their final two possessions ended in a punt and loss of downs.
–Field Level Media