Illinois got their first B1G win in 700 days against Rutgers last week. The week 7 game against Purdue given Illinois the first chance to pick up a 2 game win streak the first time since week 4 of 2015 over Nebraksa. Purdue is at a sloppy 2-3 with wins over #23 Boston College and Nebraska.
Purdue is 51st in sacks allowed, 84th in Turnover Margin, 41st in tackles for loss allowed and 27th in 3rd down conversions. In total offense, Purdue ranks 74th in rushing offense with 169 yards a game, 13th in passing offense with 320 yards a game and 19th in total offense. Other than Penn State, the Boilermakers are the best offensive team Illinois will face so far this year. Rondale Moore will be the main back to stop. Moore has averaged 5.6 YPC but has dropped in efficiency as the season has progressed. David Blough has been the main QB for Purdue and has completed 68 percent of his passes for 1318 yards, 7 TDs and only 1 interception. Illinois will need to be disciplined on defense to beat the Boilermakers. Purdue has not been exciting on offense, so Illinois has to win the turnover battle to win this game.
Purdue is 69th on rushing defense, 117th on passing defense and 107th on total defense with 447 yards allowed on the season. Illinois is technically worse, but the Penn State game heavily skews statistics. Purdue has also allowed 13 sacks (49th), 27 tackles for loss (96th), has 7 interceptions (20th) and has force 2 fumbles. If anything is clear, it is relatively easy to move the ball against Purdue. Illinois will need to rely more on the pass, but Illinois rush is one of the best against the country and Purdue has not done well against good running teams. The Boilermakers allowed 233 yards against Missouri (34th) and 259 yards against Nebraska (58th). Illinois has a chance to make a statement with its stellar run offense.
It’s homecoming, Illinois is hot and Illinois wins. This is a good Purdue team and won’t fold like Rutgers. But Purdue isn’t USF or Penn State. There is no way Purdue lays down the law in the second half. This will be a very, very, very close game. With homecoming and bowl game implication on the line, expect a defensive battle on Saturday. More on the Illini tomorrow.