1st quarter recap: Purdue 0, Illinois 0
The teams combined for no points and two turnovers in an ugly first quarter and the game is tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Illinois will start the second quarter with the ball on its own 32-yard line.
More on this game from BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart:
Player on the spot: Purdue QB Robert Marve. The guy is remarkable, starting the last two games for an ineffective Caleb TerBush despite having a torn ACL. Marve led the Boilermakers to a 27-24 win at Iowa last Saturday that kept faint bowl hopes alive. The sixth-year senior played his best game of the year when it mattered most by hitting 25-of-33 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns vs. the Hawkeyes. Purdue must win its last two games to get to 6-6. And with the inspirational play of Marve, the Boilers may get one step closer playing an Illinois team that is reeling with seven defeats in a row.
Key matchup: Purdue defensive line vs. Illinois offensive line. The Boilermaker front has some top talent in tackles Kawann Short and Bruce Gaston, along with end Ryan Russell. The Fighting Illini o-line has been a mess most of the season. Purdue brings some mojo into the game, holding Iowa to just 74 yards rushing last week. If Illinois can’t get a push and protect, it will have little chance.
Key number: 16.9, Illinois’ scoring average. That ranks 118th in the nation. The only schools in America that are more anemic are Kentucky (16.4) and Idaho (15.4). In Big Ten games, the Illini average 10.5 points.
Key note: Tim Beckman went 1-1 vs. Purdue when he was head coach of Toledo. But Purdue has four of its last six trips to Champaign.
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