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About Us / bowl history
Date: Tuesday, December 30, 1997
The Fifth Annual Builders Square Alamo Bowl had all the makings of a fight to the finish. No. 16 Purdue and No. 24 Oklahoma State shared many similarities:
- Both had not seen post-season play since the 1980s.
- Both had posted identical 8-3 records during the regular season and were considered the Cinderella teams of their respective conferences.
- Both were led into the game by their league's 1997 Coach of the Year winners. Joe Tiller in the Big Ten and Bob Simmons in the Big 12.
But in the end it was Tiller's 16th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers, by virtue of a 20-point third-quarter outburst, who walked away with the night's top prize, a 33-20 victory over Simmons' 24th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in front of a predominantly orange-clad crowd of 55,552.
The Boilermakers' points came via an 18-yard scoring toss from Billy Dicken to All-Big Ten wide receiver Brian Alford with 1:19 to play in the first quarter and Ryan's field goal with 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Oklahoma State used two Tim Syndes field goals 33 yards in the first quarter and 22 yards in the second to post its six points. But Dicken, the game's Offensive MVP, got the Purdue offense on track in the third quarter as his one-yard carry at 12:02 extended the Boilermakers' lead to 16-6.
After a Jamal Fobbs 21-yard touchdown run, which capped an 80-yard Oklahoma State drive, cut Purdue's lead to 16-13, Dicken took over again. His 60-yard pass and catch with running back Edwin Watson setup up Vinny Sutherland's 16-yard reverse for a 23-13 Boilemaker lead.
After Purdue stopped Oklahoma State on its next possession, Purdue got the ball with 5:00 minutes left in the third quarter and Dicken went back to work. The senior from Bloomington, Ill., guided the Boilermakers 74 yards in just three plays, culminating with Dicken's 69-yard scoring toss to Chris Daniels with 3:52 remaining in the third quarter.
The touchdown toss to Daniels extended Purdue's lead to 30-13 and put the Boilermakers on the road to their first bowl victory since the 1980 Liberty Bowl. Dicken finished the night passing for a bowl-record 325 yards, breaking the previous record of 286 yards passing set by Washington State's Chad Davis vs. Baylor in 1994. Dicken also rushed for 43 yards and finished with a bowl-record 368 yards of total offense while his 69-yard scoring toss to Daniels also established a bowl-record.
Ryan added his third field goal of the night at 9:12 of the fourth quarter to give Purdue a 33-13 lead. Oklahoma State made the final margin 13 when freshman quarterback Tony Lindsay hooked up with R.W. McQuarters on a 17-yard scoring pass with 55 seconds left in the game. The victory left the Boilermakers at 9-3 and ranked 15th in the final Top 25 polls in Tiller's first season. Oklahoma State, in its third season under Simmons, ended the season at 8-4 but also earned a spot in the final national rankings, finishing 24th.
The 1997 Builders Square Alamo Bowl is only one of two times in Alamo Bowl history that the game did not feature a team from the state of Texas. The other time was the inaugural game in 1993 that matched the University of Iowa against the University of California.
Purdue broke or tied several then Alamo Bowl records in 1997, including longest touchdown pass (69 yards), team interceptions (three), most interceptions (two, Adrian Beasley), most yards passing (325, Billy Dicken), most yards total offense (454), most points in a half (23 in the second half), most points in a quarter (20 in the third) and best third-down efficiency (55 percent).
Purdue quarterback Billy Dicken earned Offensive MVP honors while Boilermakers defensive back Adrian Beasley was named Defensive MVP.