Backup quarterbacks rallied both Notre Dame and Ohio State against Purdue. Notre Dame's Everett Golson was banged up late, and Tommy Rees drove the Irish to the winning field goal. Ohio State played the fourth quarter without Braxton Miller, though the Buckeyes rallied without Miller.
The Boilermakers were not pushed around by either Ohio State or Notre Dame. They virtually matched the Buckeyes in total yards.
But that level of play was nowhere to be found in Purdue losses of 44-13 to Michigan, 38-14 to Wisconsin, 44-28 at Minnesota and 34-9 to Penn State.
Narrow victories over Iowa (27-24) and Illinois (20-17) gave Purdue a chance at bowl eligibility, which the Boilermakers achieved with a 56-35 drubbing of Indiana.
“We kind of got the ball moving a little bit,” said quarterback Robert Marve. “We're extremely happy about the bowl game. There's no other way we want to go out but with the win.”
Said Short: “We had high expectations. We didn't come up to it. But we did … get to a bowl game.”