It is on record that 1 H&R staff member, Drew, correctly called a Purdue victory. After two straight games in which the offense played from behind, Purdue traded blows consistently against arguably the top defense in the country. Purdue was able to pull away in the second half and pick up its 6th win on the season.
Aidan O’Connell: 25/40, 237 yards, 3 TD 1 INT, 2 carries, 33 yards
Devin Mockobee: 28 carries, 106 yards, 1 TD
Payne Durham: 7 REC, 70 yards, 2 TD
TJ Sheffield: 6 REC, 72 yards
Charlie Jones: 4 REC, 66 yards, 1 TD
Tommy DeVito: 18/32, 201 yards, 1TD 1INT
Chase Brown: 23 carries, 98 yards, 2 TD
Chase Brown 2-yard TD run
After a good opening Purdue drive ended with a turnover on downs, Illinois drove straight down the field without even playing a snap on third down. Chase Brown muscled into the endzone to cap it off.
Purdue’s previous two drives ended just outside the redzone and come away with 0 points after a missed 44-yard field goal attempt. With the ball near midfield, AOC completely underthrew a ball and it was intercepted, giving Purdue fans the bad thoughts that had been there for a couple weeks.
Defense forces 3 straight 3 and outs
This isn’t just one play but following the first Illinois drive, the defense held incredibly firm. 3 straight drives resulted in 6 Illinois yards on 9 plays and 3 punts. This was honestly the key to the victory as the defense willed Purdue to avoid a big deficit.
Devin Mockobee 6-yard TD run
With great starting field position, Purdue ran 5 straight times (yes, you read that right) and ended with a strong inside TD run by Crazy Legs. On this drive Aidan O’Connell even had an option toss play that he kept and ran for 9 yards.
Chase Brown 8-yard TD run
Purdue is allergic to momentum. Following the tying touchdown, Illinois marched right down the field and Brown avoided a missed tackle and facemask to get in for the score.
Aidan O’Connell 32-yard TD pass to Charlie Jones
After trading punts, AOC threw three straight balls to Charlie Jones, resulting in a 16-yard gain, a questionable pass interference call that negated an interception, and a 32-yard dime about an inch over the defenders’ fingers in the end zone.
Aidan O’Connell 5-yard TD pass to Payne Durham
After forcing a punt out of halftime, Purdue drove 90 yards down the field and AOC found a crossing Payne Durham, who willed his way into the endzone, dragging a defender. AOC had another option run on this drive for 24 yards because why not.
Tommy DeVito 6-yard TD pass to Brian Hightower
Again, allergic to momentum, as Illinois drove 63 yards and capped it off with a throw to the corner on 3rd and goal from the 6.
Aidan O’Connell 12-yard TD pass to Payne Durham
Purdue’s offense again marched straight down the field and was aided by Illinois penalties (a theme for this game) and AOC threw a strike to Durham in the very corner of the endzone. Payne came down with the ball and his right foot touched in bounds just a hair before his left. After review, the call was confirmed.
Tommy DeVito interception
Purdue and Illinois would trade 2 punts each with Purdue up 7 and time beginning to dwindle. With 3:37 and the ball at the Illinois 30, DeVito threw a pass that was tipped at the line by Lawrence Johnson and picked by Kieren Douglas, who was injured on the play.
Mitchell Fineran 25-yard field goal
Purdue was able to run down the clock while getting into field goal range on a windy day. With 1:05 left and Illinois out of timeouts, Fineran kicked it through.
Purdue recovered onside kick
Illinois was able to drive down the field a bit and kick a 38-yard field goal with 17 seconds left. The ensuing onside kick barely went 5 yards as Purdue fell on it and secured the Cannon.
Purdue brings the Cannon back home as they gear up for a whacky B1G West race and an eventual bowl game. Just as everyone thought they would.