TUCSON - Jerod Void carried 18 times for 107 yards, scored three touchdowns and recovered a muffed punt return, helping 12th-ranked Purdue hold off Arizona 31-24 on Saturday night.
Brandon Kirsch passed for 140 yards and ran for 54 for the Boilermakers (2-0), who took advantage of the muffed punt return and a failed fake punt by Arizona to score 10 decisive points in the third quarter.
Richard Kovalcheck completed 23-of-40 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns for the Wildcats (1-2).
Purdue, transformed from a passing team to a running one so far this season, gained 239 yards on the ground.
After the Boilermakers took a 31-17 lead, Arizona went 80 yards in 10 plays in a 5 1/2-minute drive. Kovalcheck threw 9 yards to Anthony Johnson for the touchdown that made it 31-24 with 10:50 to play. The Wildcats’ got a break when, on third-andnine from the 24, Kovalcheck’s pass bounced off Johnson and into the hands of Brad Wood for a first down at the 10.
Arizona went nowhere on its next possession, though, and Brian Hickman’s interception with 33 seconds left preserved the victory.
Void topped 100 yards for the second time this season and, with 30 rushing touchdowns, tied Perry Williams for second on Purdue’s career list. Mike Alstott had 39 from 1992 to 1995.
Purdue, leading 21-17, was forced to punt from its end zone in the third quarter. But Arizona’s Syndric Steptoe muffed the catch of the short punt and Void recovered at the Boilermakers’ 37. Kirsch’s 46-yard pass to Kyle Ingraham put the ball on the 3, and Void bulled in from there to give Purdue a 28-17 lead with 3:14 to go in the third.
After the kickoff, Arizona lost three yards on a fake punt on fourth-and-seven, giving Purdue the ball at the Wildcats’ 35. Ben Jones’ 47-yard field goal boosted the lead to 31-17 with 1:26 left in the quarter.
Purdue took a 7-0 lead when Void burst up the middle for a career-long 55-yard touchdown run with 10:09 left in the first quarter.
But Arizona took the Boilermakers’ kickoff and went 80 yards in six plays to tie it at 7-7. Kovalcheck was 4-for-4 on the drive. On fourth-and-two from the Purdue 34, no defenders covered Brad Wood, and Kovalcheck threw to the wide-open tight end for a touchdown.
The Boilermakers needed just five plays to go 83 yards and regain the lead, with Sheets scoring on a 19-yard option play.