Oct 31, 2020; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Sydney Brown (left) and defensive back Devon Witherspoon (right) tackle Purdue Boilermakers running back Zander Horvath (center) during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Purdue holds off undermanned Illinois

Aidan O’Connell threw for 376 yards and two touchdowns as Purdue held off undermanned Illinois, 31-24, in a Big Ten matchup on Saturday in Champaign, Ill.

Due to positive COVID-19 tests, contact tracing and other injuries, the Fighting Illini (0-2, 0-2) were without 14 players, including their top two quarterbacks, their starting center and their first-string kicker.

Zander Horvath rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown and added 55 yards receiving for Purdue (2-0, 2-0). David Bell caught nine passes for 122 yards and a touchdown and Milton Wright added 90 yards receiving and a score.

Coran Taylor, Illinois’ fourth-string quarterback, completed 17 of 29 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted twice after he entered the game on the second series.

Taylor, a sophomore whose only experience was a pair of carries for 11 yards in a game last season, was pressed into duty when third-stringer Matt Robinson suffered an ankle injury on the Illini’s first possession of the game.

Brian Hightower finished with 97 receiving yards and a touchdown for Illinois, who scored two touchdowns in about a five-minute span of the fourth quarter to make things interesting.

Purdue led 17-10 at the half on Horvath’s 1-yard run, O’Connell’s 45-yard strike to Wright, and J.D. Dellinger’s 36-yard field goal. The Boilermakers added to the lead early in the third quarter when O’Connell hit Bell for a 3-yard touchdown.

The Boilermakers scored again late in the period. They failed to convert a fourth-and-goal at the 2, but Illinois was pinned at the 1 to start its drive. Two plays later, Purdue’s Jalen Graham recovered a fumble by Taylor in the end zone for a 31-10 lead.

The Illini responded by covering 75 yards in eight plays, capped by Taylor’s 28-yard scoring strike to Daniel Imatorbhebhe to pull within 31-17.

Purdue was forced to punt after a sack by Illinois’ Owen Carney Jr., and Taylor led an eight-play drive, finishing it off with an 8-yard scoring toss to Hightower with 6:36 left in the game.

Illinois got the ball back at their own 48 after a second sack by Carney and an ensuing punt. Facing fourth-and-10 at the Purdue 15, Taylor completed a pass for only 7 yards to Epstein.

–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.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Sep 23rd, 7:30 PM

Marshall +5.5 -110

Appalachian State -5.5 -110

@

Sep 24th, 6:30 PM

Middle Tennessee

Charlotte

@

Sep 24th, 7:00 PM

Wake Forest

Virginia

@

Sep 24th, 8:00 PM

Liberty

Syracuse

@

Sep 24th, 10:00 PM

UNLV

Fresno State

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Missouri

Boston College

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Georgia (2)

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

LSU

Mississippi State

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Texas Tech

Texas

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

SMU

TCU

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Florida International (FIU)

Central Michigan

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Notre Dame (12) +3 +103

Wisconsin (18) -3 +103

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

New Hampshire

Pittsburgh

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Richmond

Virginia Tech (15)

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Wagner

Temple

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Bowling Green

Minnesota

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Ohio

Northwestern

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Villanova

Penn State (10)

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Miami-OH

Army

@

Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Boise State

Utah State

@

Sep 25th, 12:30 PM

Central Connecticut State

Miami-FL (24)

@

Sep 25th, 1:00 PM

Massachusetts

Coastal Carolina (16)

@

Sep 25th, 2:00 PM

Toledo

Ball State

@

Sep 25th, 2:00 PM

San Jose State

Western Michigan

@

Sep 25th, 2:00 PM

Texas State

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 25th, 2:30 PM

Washington State

Utah

@

Sep 25th, 2:30 PM

Maine

NIU

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

Texas A&M (7) -7.5 -115

Arkansas (20) +7.5 -115

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

Louisville

Florida State

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

Clemson (6)

NC State

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

Wyoming

UCONN

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

Iowa State (14)

Baylor

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

UTSA

Memphis

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

Towson

San Diego State

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

Colorado State

Iowa (5)

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

Kent State

Maryland

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

Illinois

Purdue

@

Sep 25th, 3:30 PM

Rutgers

Michigan (25)

@

Sep 25th, 4:00 PM

Kansas

Duke

@

Sep 25th, 4:00 PM

Georgia State

Auburn (22)

@

Sep 25th, 5:00 PM

Arkansas State

Tulsa

@

Sep 25th, 6:00 PM

UCLA (13)

Stanford

@

Sep 25th, 6:00 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 25th, 6:00 PM

Buffalo

Old Dominion

@

Sep 25th, 6:00 PM

Charleston Southern

East Carolina

@

Sep 25th, 6:30 PM

Texas Southern

Rice

@

Sep 25th, 7:00 PM

Tennessee +16.5 -107

Florida (11) -16.5 -107

@

Sep 25th, 7:00 PM

Kentucky

South Carolina

@

Sep 25th, 7:00 PM

North Texas

LA Tech

@

Sep 25th, 7:00 PM

Kansas State

Oklahoma State

@

Sep 25th, 7:00 PM

Navy

Houston

@

Sep 25th, 7:00 PM

Nebraska

Michigan State

@

Sep 25th, 7:30 PM

Southern Miss

Alabama (1)

@

Sep 25th, 7:30 PM

West Virginia +19.5 -110

Oklahoma (3) -19.5 -110

@

Sep 25th, 7:30 PM

North Carolina (21)

Georgia Tech

@

Sep 25th, 7:30 PM

Akron

Ohio State (9)

@

Sep 25th, 8:00 PM

Troy

Louisiana-Monroe

@

Sep 25th, 8:00 PM

Indiana

WKU

@

Sep 25th, 8:00 PM

UAB

Tulane

@

Sep 25th, 8:00 PM

Florida Atlantic

Air Force

@

Sep 25th, 8:00 PM

Hawaii

New Mexico State

@

Sep 25th, 9:00 PM

New Mexico

UTEP

@

Sep 25th, 9:30 PM

California

Washington

@

Sep 25th, 10:15 PM

USF

BYU (23)

@

Sep 25th, 10:30 PM

Arizona

Oregon (4)

@

Sep 25th, 10:30 PM

Oregon State

USC

@

Sep 25th, 10:30 PM

Colorado

Arizona State (19)

@

Sep 30th, 7:30 PM

Virginia

Miami-FL (24)

@