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(Saturday, November 17)
Final Score: Purdue 20, Illinois 17
Champaign, IL (Sports Network) - Akeem Shavers ran for 99 yards and what proved to be the game-winning touchdown as the Purdue Boilermakers defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini in a Big-Ten bout at Memorial Stadium, 20-17.
Robert Marve threw for 173 yards and a touchdown on 18-of-26 passing for the Boilermakers (5-6, 2-5 Big-Ten), who won their second consecutive game after dropping five straight. Ralph Bolden had a solid day on the ground, rushing for 93 yards on seven carries and O.J. Ross caught seven passes for 41 yards.
Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 160 yards on 22-of-38 passing, and he also ran for 76 yards and a touchdown for Illinois (2-9, 0-7). Darius Millines caught six passes for 57 yards to pace the Illini receivers.
Both teams came out flat and failed to score in the first quarter. Purdue gained just eight yards in the first 15 minutes while Illinois picked up six first downs but had nothing to show for it.
The scoring picked up in the second quarter but neither team was able to find the end zone. Purdue kicker Sam McCartney connected on both of his field goal tries in the period while Illini kicker Taylor Zalewski drilled a 54-yard kick, the third longest in school history. Purdue led 6-3 at halftime.
Marve finally broke the touchdown drought midway through the third quarter when he hooked up with Akeem Hunt for a 63-yard scoring strike. The catch was Hunt's only on the day.
Illinois responded with a touchdown of its own late in the third when Dami Ayoola broke free and scored from 16 yards out to cut the Purdue lead to 13-10.
Purdue bounced right back, scoring a touchdown on Shavers' six-yard run less than two minutes later. The touchdown gave the Boilermakers a 10-point advantage.
Scheelhaase scored on a touchdown run at the 3:29 mark of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to three, but Purdue was able to run out the clock and prevent the Illini from getting the ball back.
Purdue has now defeated Illinois in seven of the last eight matchups to take home the prized Cannon Trophy. The win also marked the first time since 2009 that Purdue has won back-to-back Big Ten road games. They can become bowl eligible with a win next week over Indiana.
Despite the loss, Illinois holds a slim advantage in the all-time series, 42-40-6.
11/17 20:49:05 ET
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