The road has been kind to Northwestern this season, and the Wildcats' offense in particular has thrived away from Evanston.
That was most definitely the case Saturday, as Northwestern marched into West Lafayette and put up eye-popping numbers in a blowout 45-17 win over Purdue.
The Cats piled up 605 total yards of offense, with Clayton Thorson passing for a career-high 352 yards and Justin Jackson and John Moten combining to rush for 246 yards. It was Northwestern's second highest-scoring game of the season, and the Cats now boast a 3-1 record away from Ryan Field with impressive performances in all four games: wins over Iowa, Michigan State and Purdue and a loss to Ohio State.
The Cats also came to play on defense, intercepting four passes by Boilermaker quarterbacks.
Northwestern actually went down in an early 10-0 hole, Thorson throwing an interception that Purdue turned into a touchdown after it kicked a field goal on its opening possession.
But then things turned around in a hurry. Montre Hartage intercepted David Blough, and four plays later Thorson hit Austin Carr for a touchdown. Two possessions later, Thorson found Carr from 33 yards out for a go-ahead touchdown, and the Cats led the rest of the way, really blowing things open in the second half.
Jackson finished off a 71-yard touchdown drive on the first possession of the third quarter, and Thorson hit Garrett Dickerson for a 42-yard touchdown one play after Anthony Walker Jr. intercepted Blough to make it a 28-10 score.
Blough threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Bilal Marshall as a strong answer, but Thorson led the team right down the field on the ensuing drive, hitting Flynn Nagel twice for a total of 30 yards before a 37-yard bomb to Carr put the Cats on the doorstep. Thorson finished off that drive with a two-yard touchdown rush.
Jackson scored from 10 yards out to polish off a 91-yard drive and score the game's final touchdown. But the Cats had two more interceptions in them, Hartage picking off Blough and Trent Goens intercepting Elijah Sindelar to add some more highlights to the game's final minutes.
Northwestern tore apart the Purdue defense, piling up 352 yards throwing the ball and 253 yards rushing the ball. The Boilermakers managed 394 total yards, but give the Cats' defense credit for holding the Boilers to just 17 points, their lowest output in their last three games and second lowest in their last six games.
The win boosted Northwestern to 5-5 on the season and 4-3 in conference play. The Cats finish up the regular season with games against Minnesota and Illinois.
Purdue dropped to 3-7 overall and 1-6 in conference play with the loss. The Boilers end the season with games against Wisconsin and Indiana.