STATE COLLEGE — Junior Derrick Williams sent Penn State’s seniors off with a win in their final home game.Williams scored on a 12-yard end-around and a five-yard reception, while Dan Connor and Maurice Evans led a beleaguered defense that held Purdue in check late in the Nittany Lions’ 26-19 win on Saturday.
Joe Paterno seemed to make a concerted effort to get Williams the ball and the receiver responded. His TD on the end-around with 13:45 left swung momentum Penn State’s way after Purdue dominated the third quarter to take a 16-13 lead.
Going right-to-left, Williams got an open-field block from fullback Dan Lawlor before scooting into the corner of the end zone to put Penn State up 19-16. The Nittany Lions (7-3, 4-3 Big Ten) botched the extra-point attempt.
Evan Royster’s 26-yard touchdown run extended the lead to 26-16 with 3:46 left, but Purdue (7-3, 3-3) didn’t go quietly. Chris Summers hit a 37-yard field goal with 1:53 left, and Penn State couldn’t run out the clock.
Curtis Painter’s desperation throw into the end zone as time expired was batted down by a swarm of Nittany Lions.Dorien Bryant led Purdue with two long kickoff returns, including a career-high 98-yarder to open the game with a touchdown. Summers kicked four field goals, including a career-long 50-yarder, and Painter finished 27-of-48 for 255 yards.
The defense stopped Purdue deep in its own territory on two late drives, and Penn State appeared to be in good shape before Rodney Kinlaw fumbled at the Purdue 6.
A riled-up Paterno pleaded with officials that Kinlaw had stepped out-of-bounds at the 17, but a replay official upheld the call.
The Penn State defense held again, and Evans sacked Painter and forced a fumble that led to a Purdue punt.Royster’s touchdown run with 3:46 left proved to be the deciding score. The redshirt freshman finished with 126 yards on 21 carries.
Williams had 10 catches for 95 yards and two rushes for 21 yards.
He helped send Connor out with a win on a momentous Senior Day. The linebacker also broke the school record for career tackles previously held by Paul Posluszny (372).
Bryant tried to spoil the fun early with his 98-yard return on the opening kickoff. He finished with five catches for 56 yards and also had a 39-yard kick return.
Purdue was on the move in the first quarter until linebacker Sean Lee stripped the ball from Jaycen Taylor on third-and-goal just as the tailback was trying to stretch the ball into the end zone.The teams combined for 22 penalties, 13 by Penn State.