Oct 24, 2020; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Purdue Boilermakers wide receiver David Bell (3) runs for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Purdue looks to continue strong start vs. Illinois

No Rondale Moore? No Jeff Brohm? No problem, at least not for Purdue in its season-opening game.

Minus their star receiver and head coach, the Boilermakers rallied from a 20-14 fourth-quarter deficit to stop visiting Iowa 24-20.

Now Purdue (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten) aims for another win in a late-morning kickoff Saturday at Illinois, and the odds are good that at least Brohm will be back. The status for Moore, who caught a whopping 114 passes as a freshman in 2018, then sat out the final eight games last year with a hamstring injury, is murky at best.

Moore opted out of the season when the Big 10 Conference announced it wouldn’t play in the fall, then decided to return when the league changed its plans and slated the season to start in October. However, Moore was declared out of last week’s game about 24 hours before kickoff due to an undisclosed injury.

Asked about Moore’s situation for this week, Brohm said, “We’re always hopeful, and we’ll see what happens during the week.”

Regardless of Moore’s availability, the Boilermakers have to like their chances to create chunk yardage in the passing game against the Fighting Illini. While Purdue started with a good win over a traditionally solid program, Illinois (0-1, 0-1) barely managed a whimper in a 45-7 loss at Wisconsin on Oct. 23.

Of all the lowlights — no points on offense, just 218 total yards and no big plays in the kicking game — the pass defense stood out in a bad way. The Illini allowed Badgers redshirt freshman Graham Mertz to complete 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns in his first college start.

For a team boasting 25 seniors and feeling as if it could finally stack up with most conference teams on a weekly basis, the game was quite a comedown.

“When you make an effort like that,” Illinois coach Lovie Smith said, “you can’t wait to play as soon as possible. We’re a lot better than that. We are not as far along as I hoped we would be, but we still have time to get better.”

Getting better for the Illini starts with finding a coverage scheme that will keep Boilermakers wide receiver David Bell from carving them up. Bell caught 13 passes for 121 yards and three scores against Iowa, including the 6-yard game-winner from Aidan O’Donnell with 2:15 remaining.

It was a continuation of 2019 for Bell, who grabbed 86 passes for 1,035 yards en route to Big 10 Freshman of the Year honors. He has at least 100 yards in each of his last four games dating back to last year.

Illinois must also find a way to sustain drives and finish them with points. There were some decent chunk plays, but there were far too many zero or negative-yardage plays along the way. It was a surprisingly poor performance by a group of offensive linemen with 130 career starts among them.

This will be the 96th all-time meeting of the schools. The Illini’s 24-6 win last year gave them a 45-44-6 edge in the series.

–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

Oct 20th, 7:30 PM

Coastal Carolina (14) -2.5 -107

Appalachian State +2.5 -107

@

Oct 21st, 7:30 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette -15 -110

Arkansas State +15 -110

@

Oct 21st, 7:30 PM

Tulane +14.5 -110

SMU (21) -14.5 -110

@

Oct 21st, 7:30 PM

Florida Atlantic -5 -107

Charlotte +5 -107

@

Oct 21st, 11:00 PM

San Jose State -3 -107

UNLV +3 -107

@

Oct 22nd, 6:00 PM

Middle Tennessee -14.5 -107

UCONN +14.5 -107

@

Oct 22nd, 7:00 PM

Memphis +3 -107

UCF -3 -107

@

Oct 22nd, 9:30 PM

Colorado State -3.5 -107

Utah State +3.5 -107

@

Oct 22nd, 10:30 PM

Washington -16.5 -107

Arizona +16.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Massachusetts +35.5 -107

Florida State -35.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Arkansas-Pine Bluff +51.5 -110

Arkansas -51.5 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Eastern Michigan -3 -110

Bowling Green +3 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

NIU +4 -107

Central Michigan -4 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Kansas State -2.5 -107

Texas Tech +2.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (3) -37 -110

Kansas +37 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Cincinnati (2) -26.5 -107

Navy +26.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Northwestern +21.5 -107

Michigan (6) -21.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Illinois +23.5 -107

Penn State (7) -23.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM

Wake Forest (16) -4 -110

Army +4 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 12:30 PM

Syracuse +4 -110

Virginia Tech -4 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 1:00 PM

Kent State -6 -107

Ohio +6 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 2:00 PM

Texas State +10.5 -107

Georgia State -10.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:00 PM

Wisconsin -2.5 -110

Purdue (25) +2.5 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Oklahoma State (8) +6 -107

Iowa State -6 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

LSU +10.5 -110

Ole Miss (12) -10.5 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

BYU -1 -110

Washington State +1 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Colorado +9.5 -110

California -9.5 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Buffalo -12.5 -107

Akron +12.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH +7.5 -107

Ball State -7.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Western Michigan -3 -107

Toledo +3 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Oregon (10) -3 -107

UCLA +3 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Rice +23.5 -107

UAB -23.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Clemson -1 -110

Pittsburgh (23) +1 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

Maryland +6 -107

Minnesota -6 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 3:30 PM

New Mexico +20.5 -107

Wyoming -20.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 4:00 PM

Mississippi State -23 -110

Vanderbilt +23 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 4:00 PM

Boston College +6.5 -107

Louisville -6.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 4:00 PM

Liberty -21.5 -107

North Texas +21.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 4:00 PM

East Carolina +12 -110

Houston -12 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

WKU -17.5 -107

Florida International (FIU) +17.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

Tennessee +23.5 -107

Alabama (4) -23.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

UTSA (24) -7 -117

LA Tech +7 -117

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

South Alabama -13.5 -107

Louisiana-Monroe +13.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

Temple +4 -110

USF -4 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

Nevada +1 -107

Fresno State -1 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:00 PM

San Diego State (22) +5.5 -107

Air Force -5.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

South Carolina +17.5 -110

Texas A&M (17) -17.5 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

Utah -3 -110

Oregon State +3 -110

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

NC State (18) -2.5 -107

Miami-FL +2.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

West Virginia +5.5 -107

TCU -5.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

USC +6.5 -107

Notre Dame (13) -6.5 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

Georgia Tech +6 -107

Virginia -6 -107

@

Oct 23rd, 7:30 PM

Ohio State (5) -19 -107

Indiana +19 -107

@

Oct 24th, 12:00 AM

New Mexico State +17.5 -110

Hawaii -17.5 -110

@