The Purdue Boilermakers missed their best chance to win a conference game this Saturday. Purdue had a chance for the go ahead touchdown late, but an interception sealed its fate and the Boilers lost 20-16 to Illinois.
The Illini took an intentional safety on fourth down at the end of the game in order to run out the clock, a risky move, but it ultimately paid off.
Purdue was able to move the ball well in the first half, scoring on its first two possessions. But the Illini defense stiffened in the second half, holding Purdue to 82 yards and no points.
Danny Etling was accurate for most of the day, but couldn’t find many opening downfield. He completed 20-of-29 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown. He appeared to be hurt late in the game when he threw a game sealing interception.
Akeem Hunt finally had a breakout day on the ground. The junior running back had 102 yards rushing, 62 of which came on his lone touchdown run. He only had one reception, and it was for a loss of three.
Freshman wideout Cameron Posey was to top receiver for the Boilers today. He hauled in four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Nine different Boilers caught passes today.
Defensively, Purdue struggled in pass coverage. Nathan Scheelhaase completed 24-of-30 pass attempts. He did throw two interceptions, but was largely able to put the ball wherever he wanted.
The Boilers also did a poor job of covering Steve Hull who caught 10 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Purdue did little to adjust coverage against him. The next closest receiver had four catches.
Illinois had lost 20 consecutive Big Ten games before Saturday’s win and Purdue has been kept out of the win column in conference play.
Up next for the Boilers is a trip to Southern Indiana to face the Hoosiers in the Old Oaken Bucket game. Neither team will have much to play for other than pride come next Saturday. IU won’t be bowl eligible this season and Purdue never was. Pride and bragging rights are on the line next week in Bloomington.
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