Brandon Moseby-Felder had six catches for 129 yards, Zach Zwinak ran for 134 yards and Michael Zordich ran for two touchdowns for the Nittany Lions (6-3, 4-1 Big Ten), who bounced back from a loss to Ohio State.
Caleb Terbush passed for 155 yards and a touchdown and Antavian Edison had nine catches for 93 yards and a score for the Boilermakers (3-6, 0-5), who have lost five straight and now will need to win out to become bowl eligible.
The pressure was on Purdue coach Danny Hope after athletic director Morgan Burke released a statement earlier in the week saying that the team's performance had kept the Boilermakers from reaching their goals, and that those associated with the program had expected the team to take a step up the postseason ladder.
Akeem Hunt's 47-yard return of the opening kickoff and Akeem Shavers' 37-yard run set up a 21-yard field goal by Sam McCartney that gave the Boilermakers a 3-0 lead. It was the first time Penn State had been scored upon in the first quarter all season.
Penn State went for it on fourth-and-1 from the 50 on its opening possession, but McGloin's pass fell incomplete. Purdue couldn't take advantage, as Shavers fumbled and Penn State's Malcolm Willis recovered.
Penn State drove down the field, and Sam Ficken kicked a 27-yard field goal to even the score with 6:03 left in the first quarter.
On Penn State's next possession, McGloin found Moseby-Felder for 42 yards, then Zordich scored on a 6-yard run for a 10-3 lead.
Robert Marve completed an 8-yard pass to Edison on a fourth-and-1 from the Penn State 41 to extend a second-quarter drive, but Paul Griggs' 45-yard field goal was wide right.
Penn State responded by extending its lead. Allen Robinson's leaping 27-yard grab over Purdue's Josh Johnson moved the ball into field-goal range, and Ficken's 24-yard chip shot pushed the Nittany Lions' lead to 13-3 with 3:47 left in the first half.
Zordich pounded the ball in from 5 yards out to increase Penn State's lead to 20-3 with 1:16 left in the first half.
Penn State went right down the field on its opening possession of the second half and McGloin found Jesse James for a 12-yard touchdown pass. On Penn State's next possession, Moseby-Felder's 41-yard touchdown catch from McGloin made it 34-3 and sent Purdue's fans scurrying toward the exits.
TerBush completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Edison on the last play of the game.