Saturday, Nov. 18 3:30pm ET
Purdue wins share of Big Ten title


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Purdue hadn't witnessed such a rosy scene in 34 years.

Players putting flowers in their mouths, fans carrying Heisman Trophy signs across the field and a Big Ten trophy presentation in the end zone.

Drew Brees
Purdue coach Joe Tiller, left, and quarterback Drew Brees celebrate their Big Ten title and trip to Pasadena.

But on Saturday, the Boilermakers earned it.

Drew Brees threw for one touchdown and rushed for another, while Montrell Lowe ran for 208 yards and four touchdowns as the Boilermakers beat Indiana 41-13 and booked their first trip to Pasadena since 1966. Purdue will meet Washington, which made it to the Rose Bowl by beating Washington State 51-3.

"Boilermaker fans, had you ever thought we could go to the Rose Bowl?" Brees shouted to the fans as he accepted the Big Ten trophy. "This is, by far, the greatest moment of my life so far."

And why not?

All Brees did was complete 20-of-29 passes for 216 yards and run 10 times for 85 yards, while becoming the first quarterback to lead the Boilermakers (8-3, 6-2) to Pasadena since Bob Griese.

Sat, November 18
More than anything that actually happened within this game, what was important was that Purdue got a second chance after a horrible loss to Michigan State to redeem their Rose Bowl chances.

In an all but guaranteed matchup with Washington in Pasadena, you have the ironic situation of a Big Ten team with a high-octane passing offense facing a Pac-10 team that lives and dies by the run.

Both teams bring quarterbacks with exceptional leadership and opportunistic defenses that show up for the big games. This should be a great Rose Bowl matchup.

"It's been a long time coming," Brees shouted. "But you can smell it, we're going to the Rose Bowl."

The victory set off a wild celebration in which fans stormed the field and scaled the goal posts. Some carried banners, with one reading "We Smell Roses."

But the unofficial celebration began long before that.

With about 6:30 left in the game, a group of Purdue players unveiled roses and when Brees finally left with about two minutes left, he waved to the crowd, imploring it to cheer even louder. He received a standing ovation.

"I want to thank the fans and my teammates," defensive end Akin Ayodele screamed. "This is, by far, the greatest site I have ever, ever, ever seen."

But Brees was far from a one-man show.

While Ayodele helped the Boilermakers limit the Hoosiers high-powered offense to just 13 points and 328 yards, Purdue also threw a surprise at Indiana -- Lowe, who dominated the second half.

"They just pounded us," Hoosiers coach Cam Cameron said. "They ran three plays at us in the second half, that was it. In my mind, that's been one of the better offensive lines in this league the last two or three years."

The Boilermakers proved it Saturday when they outrushed Indiana (3-8, 2-6) 294-205.

Lowe's first score came on a 12-yard run with 5:52 left in the first quarter, and even though kicker Travis Dorsch missed the extra point wide left, it hardly mattered.

On the Boilermakers next series, Brees connected with Tim Stratton on a 13-yard touchdown pass to make it 13-0.

And after Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El threw 10 yards to Versie Gaddis to make it 13-7, Brees responded with a 2-yard touchdown run just 1:55 before the half.

"We turned the ball over, we had penalties," said Randle El, who ran for 112 yards and became the second player in Division I-A history to rush for 200 points and pass for 200 points. "We always stop ourselves and we can't do that."

Especially not on coronation day.

Purdue took advantage quickly in the second half, with Lowe running 6 yards for one touchdown and 8 yards for another in the third quarter to make it 34-7.

"There was no game plan," Lowe said. "But when you look on the field and see five defensive backs drop back 15 yards, you just run it up the gut."

By then, the fans were ready to party, and with each ensuing first down, the Boilermakers crowd became louder as it became increasingly clear the Big Ten's second-longest Rose Bowl drought was about to end.

Lowe's final touchdown, a 1-yard run with 9:52 left, brought a huge roar from the crowd and a little more than five minutes later, when Stuart Schweigert intercepted Randle El's pass in the end zone, it was time to celebrate.

"To be a part of this is something special, this is at a different level than we have been in the past," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. "This is special because the Big Ten is such a high-profile conference.

"Here's a kid who grew up on a dead-end street in Toledo, Ohio. Who ever thought he would be on the field at the Rose Bowl?"

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 Purdue's Drew Brees breaks down Indiana's defense on this 2-yard TD run.(courtesy: ABCSports)
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 Indiana's Versie Gaddis catches a 10-yard pass from Antwaan Randle El.(courtesy: ABCSports)
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 Purdue's Montrell Lowe trucks 8 yards for the touchdown against Indiana.(courtesy: ABCSports)
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 Purdue's Drew Brees throws 14 yards to Tim Stratton for the TD.(courtesy: ABCSports)
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 Purdue's Montrell Lowe blazes his way 12 yards into the end zone against Indiana.(courtesy: ABCSports)
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 Everything's coming up roses for Drew Brees and the Boilermakers.
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