By Joseph Phillips, Crusader Sports Editor
Coach Lovie Smith and the Illinois Fighting Illini are now 0-2 on the season, after falling 31-24 to the Purdue University Boilermakers on Saturday, October 31, at home.
Boilermakers quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw for 371 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s win.
The Fighting Illini football team was down by as much as 31-10 late in the third quarter before exploding for 14 unanswered points in the near comeback victory.
With 9:28 remaining in the third quarter, quarterback Coran Taylor threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Daniel Imatorbhebhe, trimming the lead to 31-17 in the quarter.
With 2:55 remaining in the fourth quarter, Taylor tossed another touchdown to wide receiver Brian Hightower. Taylor’s two pass TD’s in the second half nearly led the Fighting Illini to their first victory of the season.
But Taylor’s comeback effort fell short after the offense failed to convert on a huge 4th down play late in the final quarter.
Final Score: Purdue 31, Illinois 24.
With the loss, the Fighting Illini are now 0-2 on the season.
The Chicago Crusader Players of The Game:
The University of Illinois Fighting Illini Offense Scored 24 points.