On Saturday afternoon, Purdue got redemption in several ways when they beat Illinois 29-10 to keep the Purdue Cannon in West Lafayette for a 2nd straight year. The game got off to a quick start when on a 4th down conversion play, D.J. Knox looked like he wouldn’t convert, but instead spun out of a tackle for a 33-yd TD run. Illinois quickly answered back with an 8 yd touchdown pass from Jeff George Jr. to Louis Dorsey. However, after this, neither offense got much traction in the rest of the first-half as Purdue kicked two field goals, a 26-yarder from JD Dellinger and 42-yarder from Spencer Evans.
In the 2nd half, Purdue began to assert their dominance over the Illini on both sides of the ball. Despite a special teams miscue by Jackson Anthrop, Purdue managed to force a number of punts. Purdue then drove and added another JD Dellinger field goal. After another Illinois punt, Purdue drove downfield on the back of Markell Jones, however as the Boilermakers got closer to the goal line controversy ensued as a clear targeting penalty was overturned, and Junior Quarterback, David Blough, was severely injured to where he had to be moved by cart. However, back-up and part-time starter Elijah Sindelar kept the offense rolling when he threw a 3-yd strike to Cole Herdman for the touchdown. After a failed 2-pt conversion to hopefully give the Boilermakers a two-touchdown lead, Illinois quickly gave the ball back on George Jr. pick to Jacob Thieneman. Purdue capitalized on this turnover, as a Richie rushing touchdown capped a 58-yard drive. The rest of the game was Purdue running out the clock, and Illinois making futile attempts to get back into the game.
The parts of Purdue’s team that shined were the running game and, as usual, the defense. Offensively, Purdue outgained Illinois 435 to 250, with 209 of those coming on the ground. This ground attack, which is not what Brohm is usually known for, was led by D.J. Knox, Richie Worship, and Markell Jones, who were equally as good today in the backfield. What can be said about the defense that already hasn’t been said? Nick Holt has this defense playing on a high-level even with the losses to key contributors, Da’Wan Hunte and T.J. McCollum. Ultimately, not only did the team come together to break the three-game losing streak but rallied together for David Blough after he was injured. Purdue will now have to rely on Elijah Sindelar for the rest of season, as Blough is most likely out for the rest of the year with an ankle injury. Purdue needs to pull some upsets if they plan on making a bowl game. Purdue moves to 4-5, 2-4 in Big Ten play. Next week they take on the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston.