Recap: Illinois vs. Purdue
Champaign, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Austin Appleby threw for a touchdown and ran for two more in his first career start, as the Purdue Boilermakers outlasted Illinois, 38-27, in a Big Ten Conference matchup at Memorial Stadium.
Appleby got the start under center in place of struggling sophomore Danny Etling, and he completed 15-of-20 passes for 202 yards while also running for 76. Akeem Hunt carried 30 times for 177 yards and a touchdown to help the Boilermakers (3-3, 1-1 Big Ten) regain the Cannon Trophy and emerge victorious in their first true road game of the season.
Wes Lunt was 27-of-39 for 332 yards and two touchdowns for the Fighting Illini (3-3, 0-2), who entered the day unbeaten at home in three tries. Josh Ferguson ran for 60 yards and a score on 15 carries, and he also caught a game-high 10 passes for 79 yards in the loss. Mike Dudek paced all receivers with 200 yards on eight catches.
After forcing a three-and-out to start the game, Illinois put together a 10- play, 88-yard drive on its opening possession, which ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Lunt to Tyler White.
Purdue needed only five plays to respond on its next series, as Raheem Mostert broke loose for a 44-yard TD scamper to make it a 7-7 game midway through the opening frame.
But Illinois answered right back with a seven-play, 67-yard drive, capped by Ferguson's 2-yard touchdown plunge.
The Boilermakers once again evened things back up, this time on a 54-yard TD burst by Hunt with just under nine minutes to play until halftime.
Purdue closed out the half with a 16-play possession that took nearly seven minutes off the clock and ended with a 20-yard field goal by Paul Griggs just before intermission, as the Boilermakers took a 17-14 lead into the locker room.
Purdue added to its lead at the 9:59 mark of the third quarter, when Appleby found Danny Anthrop for an 80-yard scoring strike down the visitors' sideline to make it a 24-14 game.
Lunt stopped the bleeding on the ensuing series with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Geronimo Allison to cut the deficit to 24-21.
The seesaw battle continued on the next possession, as Appleby capped a six- play drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to push the margin back to 10.
But once again, Illinois had an answer as Donovonn Young scored on a 2-yard run to make it a 31-27 game with 1:39 remaining in the third quarter. David Reisner missed the PAT.
Another 1-yard touchdown by Appleby pushed Purdue's lead to 38-27 with 13:39 to play in the fourth quarter.
The Fighting Illini's final three drives resulted in a blocked field goal, a turnover on downs and an interception.
Purdue out-gained Illinois on the ground, 349-65, as the Boilermakers averaged a healthy 7.8 ypc for the game. Illinois averaged just 2.6 ypc as a team.Game Notes