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Big Ten: Healed star worth Bucket to Purdue

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Published November 23, 2003

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Purdue's John Standeford struggled all season with a foot injury.

It didn't bother him Saturday.

Standeford caught two touchdowns from Kyle Orton and raced 56 yards on a late catch-and-run to help seal Purdue's 24-16 victory over Indiana.

"I got here today and I was feeling the best I have all year," Standeford said. "So you could tell, probably, a little bit out here. I was just running around having fun."

In a game the Boilermakers needed to win to help secure a New Year's Day bowl bid, Standeford excelled, catching six passes for 151 yards.

He needs four receptions to break David Williams' conference career record, and he moved into a tie for second on the school's career touchdown receptions list with 27.

But Standeford was more concerned with winning than accolades.

By claiming the Old Oaken Bucket for the sixth time in coach Joe Tiller's seven years, Purdue finished its conference season in a second-place tie with Ohio State.

And it was Standeford's sore foot that proved the difference.

He raced past two defenders on a 41-yard touchdown pass in the first half, a play Orton set up with a pump fake.

On his 33-yard TD catch in the third quarter, Standeford spun inside one defender and darted untouched for the final 17 yards.

IOWA 27, WISCONSIN 21: Free safety Sean Considine broke up John Stocco's pass in the end zone on the final play to preserve the win for the visiting Hawkeyes.

Considine, whose interception of Matt Schabert's pass in the third quarter led to Iowa's go-ahead score, batted down Stocco's throw intended for Jonathan Orr on fourth and goal from the 4 with no time left.

The Hawkeyes avoided an 0-4 conference road record by scoring the game's final 20.

The Badgers were vying for a New Year's Day bowl berth and looked to have a good shot until starting quarterback Jim Sorgi was knocked out with a head injury in the second quarter. Schabert threw three interceptions before being benched.

MICHIGAN ST. 41, PENN ST. 10: Jeff Smoker threw for 357 yards and four touchdowns for the host Spartans, who ended the worst season in Joe Paterno's 38 years as Nittany Lions coach.

Penn State lost nine for the first time and became the fourth losing team in Paterno's career.

Smoker completed 29 of 50 passes with one interception and became the first Michigan State quarterback to top 3,000 yards in a season.

NORTHWESTERN 37, ILLINOIS 20: Jason Wright ran for 251 yards and four touchdowns to lead the visiting Wildcats.

Noah Herron also carried for 163 yards as Northwestern turned entirely to its running game in the second half.

Northwestern is eligible for its first bowl game since 2000.

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