College Football
Purdue 37, Western Michigan 32
When: 4:30 PM ET, Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Temperature: Dome
Head Official: Robert Cameron
Attendance: 46177

Purdue forced six turnovers and recovered a pair of surprise onside kicks in a 37-32 win over Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Tuesday.

The Boilermakers (7-6) caused three fumbles and recovered two, the final one with 1:50 remaining. Ryan Russell knocked the ball away from Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder and Bruce Gaston recovered to seal the victory.

It was a long day for Carder, who completed 31 of 57 passes for 413 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted four times and sacked once. Second-team All-America receiver Jordan White caught a bowl-record 13 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown.

Purdue’s offensive hero was Akeem Shavers, who started in place of Ralph Bolden, out with a torn ACL. Shavers rushed for a career-best 148 yards on 22 carries. Quarterbacks Caleb TerBush completed 8 of 13 passes for 101 yards and one touchdown and Robert Marve completed 6 of 7 for 76 yards and one touchdown.

Purdue took control by scoring 17 unanswered points in the final seven minutes of the first half. Raheem Mostert started the barrage with a 99-yard kickoff return, followed by a 1-yard Reggie Pegram touchdown run, and a 19-yard field goal by Carson Wiggs.

Wiggs played an important role in the game, as the kicker executed two onside kicks and even recovered the second one himself. Wiggs also booted three field goals, the first a 49-yarder and the last a 26-yarder.

Western Michigan (7-6) drew to within one score when Carder threw a touchdown pass to Chleb Ravenell with 4:56 remaining. The Broncos defense then held the Boilermakers on downs and forced a punt. Western got the ball with 2:09 left, but coughed it up on the second play to end the hopes of winning the school’s first bowl game.
Top Game Performances
Western Michigan   Purdue
Alex Carder Player Akeem Shavers
14 Attempts 22
17 Yards 149
1.2 Avg Yards 6.8
0 Touchdowns 0
0 Long 0
Western Michigan   Purdue
Jordan White Player Gary Bush
13 Receptions 6
265 Yards 90
20.4 Avg Yards 15.0
1 Touchdowns 1
0 Long 0
Team Stats Summary
  Yards Scoring Defense
Team Tot Rus Pas TD FG INT Sck FF
Western Michigan 485 46 439 4 1 0 2.0 4
Purdue 442 265 177 3 3 4 1.0 2