The Purdue Boilermakers held on the best Illinois on Saturday, winning the game by a narrow score of 20-17. Illinois scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, with under five minutes to go. Nathan Scheelhaase scored on a two-yard run, capping off a 13-play, 95-yard drive that put the Illini right back into the game.
But Purdue was able to successfully kill the clock on their next drive. They took over with 3:29 remaining in the game and some strong rushes from Akeem Shavers gave them the one first down they needed to put the game away.
Purdue's touchdowns came from Robert Marve and Shavers. Marve hit Akeem Hunt for a 63-yard touchdown early on in the third quarter that gave Purdue a 13-3 advantage, while Shavers scored on a 6-yard touchdown run near the end of the third to give them the 20-10 lead.
With the win, Purdue moved to 5-6, and now has a chance to finish at .500 next week.
Box Score Hero: This game didn't feature much high-powered offense, so we'll go with Purdue running back Ralph Bolden. He carried the ball just seven times and rushed for 93 yards, for an average of 13.3 yards per carry.
Rankings Ramifications: Neither team is ranked nationally, and neither team is competing within the conference, and this game doesn't change that one bit.
But Did They Cover? Purdue was favored by four points in the opening line, but it moved closer to a touchdown in the trends. It was close however you decided to bet. The over/under of about 50 was a good bet if you took the under.
Next Week's Schedule: Purdue will wrap things up against Indiana on Saturday. Illinois will take on Northwestern on the same day.