(Saturday, October 22nd)
Final Score: Purdue 21, (23) Illinois 14
West Lafayette, IN (Sports Network) - Caleb TerBush threw for 178 yards with a pair of first-half touchdowns, as Purdue built a big lead and held on for a 21-14 victory over 23rd-ranked Illinois at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Raheem Mostert added a 21-yard touchdown run for the Boilermakers (4-3, 2-1 Big Ten), who have won two of their last three games and beat Illinois for the sixth time in the last seven meetings.
Illinois (6-2, 2-2) was coming off its first loss of the season, a 17-7 setback at home against Ohio State last week, and things didn't get any better on Saturday.
The Illini trailed 21-0 before mounting a fourth-quarter charge that included rushing touchdowns from Jason Ford and Nate Scheelhaase, but the rally came up short.
"Coming in, we thought we had a heck of a gameplan," said Purdue coach Danny Hope -- and the results were there.
Scheelhaase threw four touchdown passes and ran for 118 yards in last year's 44-10 Illinois win, but the Boilermakers held him in check for most of the afternoon on Saturday. He managed to complete 22-of-35 passes for 217 yards, but was sacked four times and ran for only 16 yards on 13 attempts.
"I'd like to get a look at it on film," said Scheelhaase. "But we're not doing something right."
Ford finished with 83 yards on 10 carries and A.J. Jenkins caught eight passes for 92 yards in defeat.
Purdue built a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter and kept that advantage through the third before Illinois tried to stage a comeback.
The Illini finally put together a scoring march on their first possession of the fourth. Illinois drove 60 yards in 12 plays, including a 4th-and-1 conversion, and Ford scampered 16 yards to the end zone to make it 21-7 with 8:12 remaining.
The Boilermakers managed to run more than four minutes off the clock before punting it back to Illinois and Scheelhaase engineered a 90-yard drive that ended with the quarterback's two-yard run for a touchdown with just 54 seconds to play.
Purdue recovered the ensuing onsides kick and ran off the remaining time.
"We're still in control of our own destiny," said Hope. "It would be very hard to go down to play in the championship game in Indianapolis with two (conference) losses already. We only have one loss."
The Boilermakers got numerous contributions, as eight players ran the ball and TerBush found eight different receivers. Justin Siller had three receptions for 45 yards, including a touchdown, and also ran the ball three times for 13 yards.
After a trade of punts to start the game, a Purdue fumble gave Illinois good field position at its own 43. The Illini could not take advantage, but pinned the Boilermakers at their own nine with a punt.
Purdue then embarked on its second-longest drive of the season, a 13-play march that featured a 32-yard pass from TerBush to Siller on 3rd-and-21. It ended with the same two hooking up from six yards away for the score and a 7-0 lead.
Another Illinois punt forced the Boilermakers to start their next offensive series from the 12 and they responded with a nine-play drive for another score. A 28-yard pass to O.J. Ross keyed the set and Mostert found the end zone on a 21-yard jaunt just over three minutes into the second quarter.
The Illini went three-and-out on the following set and punter Justin DuVernois mishandled the snap just long enough for the rush to drop him for a 10-yard loss. The Boilermakers took over at the Illinois 14 and reached the end zone just four plays later when TerBush hit Jared Crank with a four-yard scoring pass to make it 21-0 with 7:48 left in the half.
Reilly O'Toole took over at quarterback later in the second quarter for Illinois and his lone series ended in an interception by Ricardo Allen on deep pass at the Purdue eight-yard line. Scheelhaase was back under center for the last play of the half and nearly ran the Illini into field goal position with a 35-yard scamper that feature a lateral, but time expired before the quarterback could spike the ball to set up a kick.
Purdue hadn't beaten a ranked opponent since a 26-18 triumph over No. 7 Ohio State on October 17, 2009...Illinois defensive lineman Whitney Mercilus was held without a sack after entering the contest leading the nation with 10 sacks...Illinois still leads the all-time series, 42-39-6, and has lost four straight in West Lafayette.
10/22 18:06:01 ET