NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    Sept. 27, 1997

    Boilermakers Beat Northwestern, 21-9

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Bruce Dicken threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns and Mike Rose had three interceptions, including one for a score, as Purdue defeated Big Ten Conference foe Northwestern, 21-9, for its first three-game winning streak in 13 years.

    Dicken completed 19-of-33 passes, including scoring tosses of six yards to Donald Winston in the first quarter and five yards to Brian Alford late in the third quarter. He also rushed for 62 yards on seven carries.

    The Boilermakers (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) led by a point in the second quarter when Rose, a sophomore linebacker, stepped in front of a pass over the middle by Tim Hughes and picked it off. He followed blockers up the middle of the field before breaking to his right and into the end zone, giving Purdue a 14-6 advantage with 5:18 left in the half.

    A 39-yard field goal by Brian Gowins -- his third of the game and 11th of the season -- closed Northwestern (2-3, 0-1) within 13-9 at halftime. But the two-time defending Big Ten champion Wildcats were shut out in the second half, losing for the third time in four games.

    Kendall Matthews had a career-high 152 yards on 22 carries for Purdue, which had not won three straight games since 1984, when Leon Burtnett guided the squad to the Peach Bowl, its last postseason appearance.

    The Boilermakers snapped a three-game skid to the Wildcats and under new coach Joe Tiller are off to their best start since 1994, when they went 4-1 but finished 5-4-2.

    Adrian Autry had 130 yards on 24 carries but Hughes was just 13-of-34 for 148 yards and three interceptions. Northwestern, which was 15-1 in the Big Ten over the last two seasons, has lost 16 of its last 20 meetings with Purdue and fell to 23-41-1 in the all-time series.