Purdue has taken a 27-15 lead in the 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl thanks to the play of its special teams unit. The Boilermakers have recovered a pair of onside kicks and returned a kickoff for a touchdown as they lead the Western Michigan Broncos at halftime.
Carson Wiggs put Purdue ahead for the first time on a 49-yard field goal with 10:34 left in the half. His score was set up by an interception from defensive end Gerald Gooden, which followed a fumble in Western Michigan territory by Akeem Hunt. Western Michigan responded with a 12 play, 74 yard drive for a touchdown to move back in front 15-10. Alex Carder found Josh Schaffer for a 1-yard TD pass just two plays after nearly being intercepted by Joe Holland.
The lead was short-lived as Raheem Mostert returned the following kickoff 99 yards for a score to put the Boilermakers in front 17-15. Purdue then executed its second onside kick of the game with kicker Carson Wiggs recovering. That set up a six-play, 61-yard drive that Reggie Pegram capped with a one-yard plunge.
A fourth down stop at midfield set up yet another scoring drive for the Boilermakers, as Purdue stuffed the Broncos on fourth down and got the ball back after a review. The Boilermakers worked the ball inside the Western Michigan five and settled for a short field goal by Wiggs as time expired.