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Purdue News

Illinois Rushing Attack Reigns In 24-6 Win Over Purdue

Casey Abbett

When it rains, it pours. It rained from start to finish on the Boilermaker football team Saturday, and it was the Illinois Fighting Illini that poured it on from beginning to end.

With the storm grounding the Boilermaker offense and the defense ill-equipped to stop an Illinois team picking up momentum, Purdue fell to Illinois for the first time in three tries, 24-6 -- even though the Illini gained just 26 yards through the air.

It became clear from the opening kickoff that the weather would dictate an old school power running style of play. In the first half there were only eight completed passes. Unfortunately for the Boilermakers, they rely almost exclusively on the passing game and as a result their offense didn't find the endzone until the fourth quarter. 

Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer had perhaps his worst game of the season. He completed 8 of 20 passes for just 71 yards. He also tossed an interception and lost a fumble. He would eventually be replaced by Aiden O’Connell at the end of the first half and again during the third quarter.

That led Head Coach Jeff Brohm, in his postgame press conference, to declare the quarterback position open for competition. Plummer and O'Connell weren't helped by receivers who had a tough time catching the ball in the wet and rainy conditions, dropping several passes as the day went on.

The Illinois rushing offense, on the other hand, had a field day in the rain. They rushed for 242 yards, with running back Dre Brown gaining 131 of those on an average of more than seven yards per rush.

If the Boilermakers what to make a third straight bowl game, they now must win all of their four remaining games.

Purdue (2-6) hosts the Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-4) next weekend in the second-to-last game in Ross-Ade Stadium this season.