ILLINI LIVE BLOG: FINAL - Purdue 31, Illinois 24 - Illini Fall to 0-2

Feel free to log in and join the in-game discussion as for the Illini Gameday Live Blog as Illinois hosts Purdue for a 11 a.m. kickoff.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Good morning from the campus of the University of Illinois at Memorial Stadium as Illinois (0-1) hosts Purdue for an 11 a.m. kickoff. Illinois is a 7-point home underdog. We're a few minutes away from game time with weather conditions via in Champaign is calling for temperatures in the upper 40s but also wind gusts of 10-14 miles per hour.


Purdue at Illinois

Date/time: Saturday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m. CST

Location: Memorial Stadium; Champaign, Ill.

Surface: Field Turf

Capacity: N/A - Big Ten officials are restricting no fan attendance at the 2020 regular season games.

Schedule/records: Illinois 6-7 overall, 4-5 Big Ten, 4-8 in 2019; Wisconsin 10-4 overall, 7-2 in Big Ten in 2019.

Series notes: Illinois leads 45–44–6, after the 24-6 win last year in West Lafayette. 


Early line: Purdue by 7


Uniform update: Illinois will be in the orange helmets, blue jerseys and orange pants with orange numbers. I assume Purdue will be in  the road white jerseys with white pants.


Injury Update: BREAKING NEWS - Illinois senior quarterback Brandon Peters and redshirt freshman tight end Griffin Moore were both sidelined for 21 days following positive test results Thursday for the COVID-19 virus. Per Big Ten Conference protocol, following recovery both players will be eligible to return for the Nov. 21 game at Nebraska.

Contact tracing also sidelined several other players for today and next week’s game against Minnesota.

The list of players out for Illinois includes: 

- DB Christian Bobak

- LB Shammond Cooper

- OL Brevyn Jones

- WR Kerby Joseph 

- OL Doug Kramer (starting center)

- DB Michael Marchese

- K James McCourt 

- TE Griffin Moore 

- OL Moses Okpala 

- QB Brandon Peters

- DL Keith Randolph 

- WR Trevon Sidney

- OL Jordyn Slaughter

- QB Isaiah Williams (projected backup QB)


10:55 a.m. UPDATE - Illinois has taken the field today in front of a nearly empty Memorial Stadium. The starting quarterback for the Illini will be Matt Robinson


12:32 left in 1st - Robinson with two third-down completions to get the Illini near midfield. Robinson having a lot of trouble pulling the trigger on passes and the Illini are forced to punt. 


10:40 left in 1st - First play of the game for Purdue and a receiver (Payne Durham) is found running WIDE OPEN down the middle of the field. In two plays, Purdue has crossed midfield. 


9:26 left in 1st - PURDUE TD - Purdue 7, Illinois 0 - Illinois defense is still struggling badly. Boilermakers need only five plays and 1:21 to go 80 yards including big pass plays to Payne Durham and David Bell


9:05 left in 1st - PURDUE TD - Purdue 7, Illinois 0 - Coran Taylor, who opened this season as the fourth-string quarterback is now in for the Illini. Matt Robinson is sitting on the bench without his helmet on. 

Taylor executes three runs and a pass for a first down. 


5:05 left in 1st - Purdue 7, Illinois 0 - A 33-yard run by Coran Taylor puts Illinois in scoring range but penalties and mistakes force a punt from the Purdue 33-yard-line because kicker James McCourt is out today for the Illini. 


1:34 left in 1st - Purdue 7, Illinois 0 - Illinois forces a 3-and-out after Blake Hayes pins them near the goal line. The Coran Taylor offense, which resembles more of what Illini offensive coordinator Rod Smith liked doing with Michigan (Denard Robinson) and West Virginia (Pat White) doesn't go anywhere. Purdue bails out Illinois with a roughing the punter penalty. 


End of 1st - Purdue 7, Illinois 0 - Illinois ends the opening 15 minutes with a 30-yard run by Chase Brown and the Illini are in field goal range again. 


14:29 left in 2nd - Purdue 7, Illinois 0 - PURDUE INT - Taylor throws an interception to Derrick Barnes to kill another promising drive. We're almost to 80 minutes without an offensive point this season for the Illini offense. 


11:01 left in 2nd - Purdue 14, Illinois 0 - PURDUE TD - Aidan McConnell hits Milton Wright for a 45-yard TD pass to give the Boilermakers a two-touchdown lead. Boilermakers quickly go 92 yards to convert on the Illini turnover. 


9:07 left in 2nd - Purdue 14, Illinois 0 - After a big pass play from Taylor to Brian Hightower, the Illinois quarterback fumbles the handoff to Mike Epstein and Purdue recovers. The second turnover for the Illini and second consecutive drive where a turnover kills a scoring chance in the red zone. 


7:18 left in 2nd - Purdue 14, Illinois 0 - ILLINI FUMBLE RECOVERY Illini defense forces a fumble, by Jake Hansen, and Illinois will have the ball at midfield. Football was recovered by Witherspoon. 


4:46 left in 2nd - Purdue 14, Illinois 7 - ILLINI TD - Epstein sprints in from seven yards out to cut the deficit in half. By my math, the Illini offensive scoring drought in 2020 ends at 85 minutes, 14 seconds.


1:13 left in 2nd - Purdue 17, Illinois 7 - PURDUE FG - Boilermakers answer Illini TD with a field goal near the end of the half. Purdue QB Aidan McConnell is 12 of 13 for 180 yards and a touchdown.


0:23 left in 2nd - Purdue 17, Illinois 10 - ILLINI FG - Illinois goes 69 yards in 50 seconds as Taylor appears to be settling in as we move toward halftime. Caleb Griffin's first FG attempt is good from 28. 


HALFTIME - Purdue 17, Illinois 10 - Purdue QB Aidan O'Connell is 13 of 14 for 186 yards and a touchdown. Coran Taylor has 159 total yards. and leads the Illini in rushing (49 yards). Beyond the obvious pre-game inactive list for the Illini, two red zone turnovers have really flipped the script of this game.

Illinois spokesperson Kent Brown announces QB Matt Robinson (right foot) and DL Jamal Woods will not return to this game. 


11:37 left in 3rd - Purdue 17, Illinois 10 -  ILLINI FUMBLE RECOVERY - Purdue marches the second-half opening drive down to the 2-yard-line but Lovie Smith's defense forces a fumble and recovers the ball. This is the second fumble involved by Jake Hansen.  Freshman Jer'Zhan "Johnny" Newton caused the fumble. 


10:34 left in 3rd - Purdue 17, Illinois 10 - PURDUE INT - Coran Taylor does exactly what you can't do deep in your own territory: Stare down a receiver and cause a turnover. This is his third turnover today. 


8:47 left in 3rd - Purdue 24, Illinois 10 - PURDUE TD - O'Connell scrambles and finds David Bell in the back of the end zone to give the Boilers a 2-TD advantage. The Purdue QB has one incompletion and two touchdown passes. 


5:13 left in 3rd - Purdue 24, Illinois 10 - ILLINOIS TOD - On a 4th-and-2 play from inside the 25-yard-line, Illini offense runs a zone-read carry between the tackles with Epstein and it is stuffed. Another promising drive ends with no points. 


1:33 left in 3rd - Purdue 24, Illinois 10 - PURDUE TOD - The Boilermakers have a chance to essentially put this game away but Purdue fails to get the ball in the end zone. This Illini defense has kept this team in this game but Illinois must respond on this drive deep in its own territory. 


0:54 left in 3rd - Purdue 31, Illinois 10 - PURDUE DEFENSIVE TD - Coran Taylor runs an option play and he's hit hard by Marvin Grant and the ball pops out to Purdue defensive back Jalen Graham. That is the four turnover today for the Illini's Taylor. 


END OF 3RD - Purdue 31, Illinois 10 - Illinois has four turnovers today and Purdue QB Aidan O'Connell is 23 of 26 for 298 yards and two touchdowns. 


11:44 left: Purdue 31, Illinois 17 - ILLINI TD PASS - The first career touchdown for Daniel Imatorbhebhe in his Illini career is a 28-yard strike from Taylor. Taylor has had a mixed bag afternoon is his first career significant action with a touchdown pass but also four turnovers. 


9:28 left: Purdue 31, Illinois 17 - We still have a ball game here as Illinois forces a punt (it will be just Purdue's second today) after an Owen Carney sack on third down. 


6:36 left: Purdue 31, Illinois 24 - ILLINI TD - Illini is within one score on a touchdown pass from Taylor to Brian Hightower. Taylor has 249 passing yards and two touchdowns along with four turnovers. 


3:22 left: Purdue 31, Illinois 24 - Illinois will get the ball near midfield for a chance to tie this game. Another bad Purdue punt gives Illinois a legit chance.