EL PASO, Texas -- Jason Gesser passed for 281 yards and ran for a touchdown Monday to help Washington State rally in the second half for a 33-27 victory over Purdue in the Sun Bowl.
No. 13 Washington State (10-3) trailed 20-17 at halftime, but the Cougars held Purdue scoreless in the second half until the final two minutes.
Purdue (6-6) drew to 33-27 with 1:53 left and recovered the ensuing onside kick. The Boilermakers drove to the Washington State 22 before turning the ball over on downs.
Drew Dunning hit four of four field goal attempts and Nakoa McElrath caught five passes for 116 yards as the Cougars won their first bowl game in seven years.
Purdue freshman Kyle Orton was 38 of 74 for 419 yards passing and two touchdowns, but was intercepted four times. Taylor Stubblefield caught nine passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns, and John Standeford caught 12 passes for 103 yards for the Boilermakers.
Purdue was gaining momentum in the second quarter when Orton threw a 65-yard pass to Stubblefield that put the Boilermakers on the Washington State 3-yard line.
Orton threw to Stubblefield again for a touchdown with 1:56 left in the half to tie the score at 17.
The Cougars went three-and-out and Purdue drove to the Washington State 33 where Travis Dorsch kicked a 50-yard field goal with 37 seconds left to give the Boilermakers the halftime lead.
Washington State's defense put up the first points in the game when Jason David intercepted a pass and ran it back 45 yards with 13:10 left in the first quarter. The Cougars struck again in the first quarter when Gesser hit Mike Bush on a 46-yard pass to make it 14-0.
Purdue scored 20 points in the second quarter. The Boilermakers got their first score with 12:54 left in the half on Montrell Lowe's 1-yard run.
The Cougars scored first in the second half and never trailed again after Dunning kicked a 34-yard field goal with 13:23 left in the third quarter, which tied the score at 20. Gesser ran for a touchdown from the 1 with 3:04 left in the third quarter to give the Cougars a 27-20 lead.
Neither team mounted much of a rushing attack with Purdue running for 32 times for 55 yards and Washington State 27 times for 81 yards.
The Cougars' last bowl win came in 1994, when they beat Baylor 10-3 in the Alamo Bowl.
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