Purdue loses in last 44 seconds
The Boilermakers thought they scored the winning points less than a minute earlier.
EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- Sam Keller showed remarkable poise in his first college start, throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass to Rudy Burgess with 44 seconds remaining to lead Arizona State to a 27-23 victory over Purdue in the Sun Bowl on Friday.
Starting for injured Andrew Walter, the untested sophomore completed all four of his passes on the winning drive for 80 yards in a frantic finish that stunned the Boilermakers and the Sun Bowl-record crowd of 51,288.
Burgess caught Keller's final throw on a screen play, slipped two tackles along the sideline and cut back inside en route to the end zone to give the 21st-ranked Sun Devils (9-3) the lead after Purdue had gone ahead 30 seconds before.
The Boilermakers (7-5) had one more chance to go ahead, but quarterback Kyle Orton's desperation heave into the end zone fell incomplete as time expired.
Keller put on quite a show in place of Walter, going went 25-of-45 for 370 yards and three touchdowns.
Burgess, who wasn't named a starter until Hakim Hill was kicked off the team earlier this week for breaking unspecified team rules, also had a career afternoon -- 189 yards of total offense and two touchdown receptions.
Darian Hagan added nine receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown for the Sun Devils, who had lost their three previous bowl games.
Arizona State's two novice offensive standouts outplayed Purdue's Orton and Taylor Stubblefield, one of the NCAA's most prolific pass-catch duos. Orton finished 23-of-47 for 281 yards with three touchdowns and Stubblefield had seven catches for 81 yards in their final college game together.
With the Sun Devils leading 20-16 midway through the fourth, Orton misfired on three straight passes to go three-and-out, and on Purdue's next offensive play, Brandon Jones fumbled at the end of a 24-yard catch to seemingly end the Boilermakers' comeback hopes.
But Arizona State gave Purdue another chance when punter Chris McDonald struggled to field a snap, and safety Bernard Pollard stormed through to block the punt. The ball rolled out of bounds at the Sun Devil 36, giving Purdue excellent field position.
Orton seized upon the unexpected opportunity, completing a 20-yard pass to Stubblefield and then lofting a 6-yard touchdown throw to 6-foot-6 tight end Charles Davis for a 23-20 lead with 1:14 remaining.
The Boilermakers had only 13 yards in the first quarter and didn't get their initial first down until a 13-yard pass from Orton to Stubblefield early in the second.
Purdue's first -- and only -- points of the first half didn't come until defensive tackle Brandon Villarreal tackled Preston Jones deep in the end zone for a safety.
But Orton came out firing after halftime.
He threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Brian Hare on the first play after the break and connected with Stubblefield on a 5-yard touchdown throw early in the fourth, giving Purdue a 16-10 lead.
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