Purdue Takes Two Steps Back With Loss to Illinois


After beating Nebraska it seemed like the Purdue Boilermakers football program might be moving forward, but against Illinois they took two major steps back.

When you look up the word inconsistent in the dictionary you will find a team photo of this Purdue Boilermakers football squad. Whether they win or lose close, this team finds a way to get blown out the very next game. And it really did feel like the Boilermakers had turned a corner with their 55-45 victory over Nebraska last week, but then the Illinois Fighting Illini came to town and put them right back in their place with a 48-14 win.

Illinois (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten) came out firing and essentially put the game out of reach by halftime. Down 27-7 at half, Purdue (2-7, 1-4 Big Ten) still had a slim chance to make a comeback but the offense could get nothing going. Illini running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn busted out touchdown runs of six yards and 78 yards near the end of the third quarter to officially put the game away.

Purdue quarterback David Blough – who played exceptionally well last week – regressed back to his old ways. He threw for 174 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Running back Markell Jones did what he could – 84 yards – with only seeing 14 carries. Overall it was just another offensive gameplan that didn’t work and the Boilermakers showed once again they cannot improvise on the fly when everything starts failing.

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On defense, the Boilermakers had no answer for Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt. Lunt only threw for 169 yards, but three of his 19 completions went for touchdowns. Vaughn and Josh Ferguson kept up their end of the offense as well, rumbling for 180 and 133 rushing yards, respectively. The Fighting Illini finished with 382 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.

There is no clear answer to fix the Boilermakers. Is it a lack of confidence? A lack of talent? Or maybe a lack of coaching? It was reported last week last week that head coach Darrell Hazell will return for his fourth season, but you have to imagine it will be his last if nothing changes. He is now 6-27 with Purdue.

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Next week is going to be a rough one for the Boilermakers as they travel to Ryan Field to take on No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats.

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