Illini Report Card: vs. Purdue, Oct. 13, 2018 (Homecoming)

Illini Report Card: vs. Purdue, Oct. 13, 2018 (Homecoming)

Player of the game | Purdue quarterback David Blough.

The splendid senior sliced through the Illinois defense with ease. He completed 25 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns. His one interception should have been two, but an offsides penalty saved him. Sweet revenge for Blough, who got knocked out of the Illinois game last season with a busted ankle. Good news for the Ilini: He won't be back next season.

Offense

Illinois F, Purdue A

Balance, power, speed. The Boilermakers had it all. They beat up the Illinois defense with long passes and short stuff. Rondale Moore is the real deal, the freshman receiver going over 100 yards. So did buddy Isaac Zico, who scored twice. Illinois doesn't have a quarterback controversy because AJ Bush Jr. didn't get much help. But he had too many negative plays and needs to get rid of the ball quicker.

Defense

Illinois F, Purdue A

While you were reading this, the Boilermakers just had another long gain. Illinois allowed 611 yards, which will get you stomped every time. Purdue dominated time of possession, holding the ball almost 38 minutes. The Boilermakers forced nine Illinois punts. Illinois did have an interception, but it was way too little, way too late. When Tony Adams left the game with a hamstring injury, Illinois temporarily had three first-year freshmen in the secondary.

Special teams

Illinois F, Purdue A

The Illini missed their only field goal attempt and made some poor decisions on returns. On coverage, they mostly avoided giving the ball to dangerous returner Moore. Good idea. Purdue kicker Spencer Evans nailed both field goal tries. Punter Joe Schopper barely worked up a sweat with just two attempts. The Boilermakers put a lot of heat on Illini punter Blake Hayes, just missing an early block.

Coaching

Illinois F, Purdue A

Last year's Illini offense struggled to sustain drives, which is why Rod Smith took over the unit. After five weeks of solid play, the offense took a step backward. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm pulled out a trick play early in the game, having Jared Sparks throw a TD pass to quarterback Blough. Very clever. Just a guess that Brohm enjoyed winning against his former employer.

Overall

Illinois F, Purdue A

It's pretty simple: The Illini did most everything wrong and the Boilermakers looked like Big Ten West title contenders. If Illinois goes to Madison and plays the way it did Saturday, the margin will be a lot greater than 39. Lovie Smith and his staff have major repair work to do this week.

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