Sep 25, 2021; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA;  Purdue Boilermakers running back Dylan Downing (38) evades a tackle against Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Tarique Barnes (44) during the first quarter at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Aidan O’Connell, Purdue edge Illinois in defensive affair

Aidan O’Connell went 12-of-19 passing for 182 yards and a touchdown to help Purdue earn a 13-9 home win over Illinois in a Big 10 contest that was a defensive struggle on Saturday.

With Purdue trailing 9-6 in the fourth quarter, O’Connell hit TJ Sheffield for a 14-yard touchdown with 5:44 remaining for what turned out to be the game-winning points.

The score capped off a 10-play, 94-yard drive.

In the final minute, Illinois drove down to the Purdue 19-yard line, but four straight incompletions turned the ball over on downs and ended the game.

Milton Wright caught seven passes for 88 yards for Purdue (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten).

Josh McCray rushed for 156 yards on 24 carries and Brandon Peters went 14-of-26 passing for 100 yards in defeat for Illinois (1-4, 1-2).

Purdue took the opening kickoff and marched 69 yards in 15 plays, taking a 3-0 lead with 8:31 left in the first quarter on a 23-yard field goal by Mitchell Fineran.

The Boilermakers took a 6-0 lead with 3:34 left in the first quarter on a 30-yard field goal by Fineran.

Illinois got on the scoreboard with 2:24 remaining in the second quarter, cutting the Purdue lead to 6-3 on a 51-yard field goal by James McCourt.

With 8:18 remaining in the third quarter, Illinois mounted a 13-play, 58-yard drive and tied the game at 6-6 on a 35-yard field goal by McCourt.

Purdue mounted a drive and had a first-and-goal at the Illinois 4-yard line, but on second down, O’Connell had a pass tipped and intercepted in the end zone by Kerby Joseph of Illinois.

The Fighting Illini took advantage of the turnover, driving down the field and taking a 9-6 lead with 14:51 remaining in the game on a 45-yard field goal by McCourt.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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