The Boilermakers had a dominating performance on Homecoming versus the visiting Illinois Fighting Illini, beating the visitors 44-19. Purdue was able to dominate both lines of scrimmage running the ball for 189 yards and giving Hudson Card the time needed to find receivers around the field. On the defensive side of the ball, the Boilers were able to harass Illini QB Luke Altmeyer all day after sacking him 5 times (a 6th didn’t count due to a 2pt conversion attempt).
Purdue was led by Hudson Card who went 18-26 for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns and Tyrone Tracy who rushed for 112 yards on 21 carries and had 1 touchdown. The Boilermaker offense looked dynamic and kept the Illini on their heels all day with receivers being able to get downfield led by Deion Burks’ 5 receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. Burks’ day was highlighted by a quick pass as he worked back across the field in the backfield and got to the corner from the 10 yard line.
An area of concern for the Boilers heading into the game, Purdue’s struggles on 3rd down seemed to get solved for one game as the Boilers converted 8-13 on offense (61.5%) and held the Illini to 2-13 (15.3%). Purdue frequently shifted tight ends and motioned receivers to gain advantages in the box when running and were able to isolate defensive backs into one on one situations.
The key play of the game and the key portion of the game came after Purdue appeared to gain momentum but went backwards on their second drive of the second half with Max Klare stumbling after a catch would have led to a big gain and Card was then sacked back at the 1 yard line. A 53 yard punt put the Illini back on their side of the field and when 3rd down came for Illinois, Yanni Karlaftis was able to get his fist sack and force the Illini punt. The subsequent punt went only 36 yards and was boosted by a short return by Sheffield and a 5 yard penalty. The sack to prevent an Illinois drive for points allowed the Boilers to drive down the field and punch the ball into the end zone and pushed the score to 30-13 for Purdue. That sack by Karlaftis allowed Purdue to push the score from 23-13 into a three score game with just over one quarter remaining.
Purdue moves to 2-3 on the season and 1-1 in the B1G while Illinois also moves to 2-3 and 1-1 in the B1G. The Boilers will head to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes while the Illini will play Nebraska on Friday night.