A gusty cold front put the clamps on both teams, made points hard to come by, and sent fans streaming for the exits long before Penn State ran out the clock on the Boilermakers. Here are some odds and ends from the Nittany Lions' latest visit to the blustery Midwest.
MAN OF THE HOUR: Tony Hunt was too sweet to be sour after rushing for 142 rushing yards on 31 carries and adding 36 receiving yards on a pair of catches. It was his fifth 100-yard game of the season and it found the normally tight-lipped tailback grinning from ear to ear after the game.
TURNING POINT: Hunt's 2-yard touchdown run put the Nittany Lions up by two scores with 12:36 left to play.
SOLID STRATEGY: The Lions weren't hesitant to blitz Curtis Painter. Dan Connor's pressure, which caused an incompletion on fourth-and-10 with seven minutes left, typified the linebackers' hustling pursuit of Purdue's junior quarterback.
NUMBERS GAME: The Lions were flagged nine times for 80 yards in losses while Purdue was penalized just once for 5 yards.
NOT-SO-SPECIAL DELIVERY: A third-quarter punt by Jeremy Kapinos hung in the air long enough for Donnie Johnson to field it on the fly. Bad idea. Johnson received a 15-yard interference penalty because he did not allow the Boilermaker return man a chance to catch it.
HIT SQUAD: The usually elusive A.J. Wallace ran smack into Purdue's Anthony Heygood on the opening kickoff, drawing a gasp from the crowd (the TV announcers mistakenly referred to Wallace as Derrick Williams on the play). Honorable mention: Penn state guard Robert Price laid 299 pounds of hurt on Dan Bick, preventing an interception on a batted pass.
GIVE HIM A HAND: Williams made a nice juggling catch in the second quarter after being hit from behind by Terrell Vinson.
RED & YELLOW: Two potential scoring drives bogged down after the Nittany Lions were flagged in the red zone. Andrew Quarless had a false start on a first-quarter drive that produced a field goal, while an illegal motion call on Williams helped thwart a second-quarter drive that ended in a missed 50-yard field goal attempt.
EXTRA EFFORT: On a third-and-8 play midway through the third quarter, Hunt caught a pass at the line of scrimmage, fought off two tackles and stayed upright long enough to gain a first down.
HIDDEN HERO: Despite the swirling wind, Anthony Morelli threw for 182 yards on 14-of-31 passing and would have fared better had four catchable passes not been dropped.
DID YOU NOTICE?
That safety Anthony Scirrotto had his third interception in two games, giving him a Big Ten leading five on the season?
That after Paterno blasted the offensive line following last week's lackluster performance against Illinois, Penn State made no changes to its starting five?
That Matt Hahn regained the starting fullback position from BranDon Snow?
That the Lions used five ball carriers in the first quarter alone - Hahn, Snow, Williams, Tony Hunt, Rodney Kinlaw?
That scouts from the Capital One, Outback and Alamo bowls were on hand to see the Nittany Lions become bowl eligible?
UNANSWERED QUESTION: Are the Lions good enough to defeat a ranked opponent on the road? They haven't done it since Oct. 5, 2002, when they edged No. 19 Wisconsin, 34-31. The defense certainly appears up to the challenge after posting its first shutout in 49 games Saturday, but field goals probably won't suffice next week at Camp Randall Stadium.