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Purdue vs. Illinois - Staff Predictions

Can Purdue find a way to win their second game of the season?

Wisconsin v Purdue Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Purdue sits at 1-3 and has yet to win a home game. Those are not good things. But, the season is not over. Each and every game counts. We all knew coming into this year that it would be a challenge based on the player departures whether those be through the NFL Draft, the transfer portal, or just graduation. Plus, that schedule. Woof. Regardless, tomorrow Illinois comes to town and Purdue can get back to their winning ways.

Jumbo Heroes (2-2):

I didn’t get sucked into the hype of last week being the week that Purdue actually had a chance to take down Wisconsin and end the streak. Not like my fellow writers. I held fast and stuck to my gut. Well, I did change the score to be closer but ultimately a victory is a victory. This week, I’m at a loss. Illinois isn’t a good team. Plus, their bloggers have refused to do a Q&A with us two years in a row so I don’t know what’s going on over there but something is rotten in Champaign (It’s actually only Champaign if it’s from the Urbana region of Illinois otherwise it’s just sparking Illini).

The Illinois defense isn’t the same as they were last year. Their secondary has struggled. On offense they’ve given up the most sacks of anyone in the conference while Purdue is (I believe) fourth in conference in sacks. That’s a matchup I like. The question then becomes, can Purdue find a way to prevent the QB from running all over them. If they can do that I think they can win this game. I think both offenses CAN be explosive but neither has truly put it all together. I think that this game couldn’t be more of a toss-up and the folks at Draft Kings think so too with the line currently at Purdue a one point favorite and both teams negative on the ML.

I am a homer, obviously, so when a game is this close I’ll take Purdue.

Purdue 24

Illinois 21

Jed (2-2):

Well, this season has started out with some unfortunate growing pains as Purdue shifts to a totally new defensive scheme and the offense is grasping at the concepts being thrown at them. When you combine that with the abhorrent percentages on 3rd down for both sides of the ball, it isn’t going to look pretty. That being said, if you can’t see the improvements that are happening and that the coaches are shifting things and looking for where they can adjust scheme and concepts, you just aren’t trying. There is a solid football team on that sideline but things just haven’t come together yet. A bit of a reprieve comes in the form of Illinois on Saturday for Homecoming.

Illinois is struggling a bit this season with major changes of their own after losing Ryan Walters and Kevin Kane to the Boilermakers. The Illini rank 98th in total defense giving up 422 yards per game, 76th in passing yards per game at 245, and 100th in rushing yards per game at 177. This should be a game where Purdue can get their offense back on track and score some points. The issue will be, and likely will continue to be, if the defense can get the ball back in the hands of the offense and get themselves off the field. If the 3rd down defense can be stronger than a wet paper towel, Purdue should win this game.

Purdue 36

Illinois 28

Ryan (1-3):

Sometimes I feel like I’m just throwing darts at a board. One of these days, I’ll hit a bullseye though. Illinois has another mobile QB in Luke Altmyer, something Purdue hates to see. As with past games, Purdue will likely struggle against read-option plays, but the Illinois offensive line is not the same as Wisconsin. That may help Purdue get to the QB with a 4 man-rush and maybe even a QB spy. On the other side of the ball, the Illini defense is not the same without several NFL draftees and Ryan Walters. Only 5 sacks and 4 turnovers in 4 games shows the lack of disrupters that left the program. Purdue should have the ability to move the ball, given they play clean football. Getting Gus Hartwig and Garrett Miller back seemed to really help the run game, so the offense should pull in the deep defenders (can we get a deep 9 route).

I won’t call this a make-or-break game but if Purdue wants any realistic chance at 6 wins, it has to take this game at home. And honestly, Purdue needs this game for its fans, who have come to Ross Ade in droves and have been awesome so far this season. After a 1-3 start, it would be easy to pack up and move on to basketball season, but the fans remain and Purdue needs to reward them for it. I think they do but what do I know?

Purdue 27

Illinois 24

Gabi (1-3):

I mean Purdue can’t lose at home again, right? This one feels big. The Boilers really need a win with the remaining schedule they have and this one they can definitely get. Illinois has had a rocky start to their season as well and their defense isn’t what it used to be. They’ve struggled with turnovers and penalties as well. I’ve mentioned before that Illinois has kind of become a rivalry and now having Walters come from there it adds some animosity. If we can play smart football, protect the ball and get Mockobee going early on I like our chances. The spread is -1 so this is probably going to be close until the end...

Purdue 24

Illinois 21

Chase (2-1):

This game is pretty much a toss-up on DraftKings, but Purdue is desperate. If they can’t win this one at 1-3, on homecoming, with Iowa and Ohio State up next, then they will almost certainly go into the bye week in “let’s see what we have for next year” mode. It’s effectively their last chance to win a meaningful game, cause if they lose, bowl eligibility and fan positivity will both be out the window.

Purdue: 27

Illinois: 24

Garrett (1-3):

I think it’s a weird game with a weird score with two teams that mirror each other in a lot of ways. The penalties, the turnovers, the fact that both teams are finding a new identity...let’s call this one 25-20 Purdue, but it should be a great watch for anyone who enjoys chaotic college football.

Purdue 25

Illinois 20

Drew (1-3):

This is a sicko game for sick individuals. I don’t expect it to be beautiful, but it could be exciting! I honestly have no idea. Gimmie... (with the acknowledgement that literally anything can happen in this game)

Purdue 28

Illinois 24

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.