Boilermakers keep bowl hopes alive with win
Illinois loses eighth straight game
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Purdue 20, Illinois 17: Akeem Shavers rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown as the visiting Boilermakers kept their postseason bowl hopes alive with a victory over the struggling Fighting Illini.
With its second straight win, Purdue (5-6, 2-5 Big Ten) needs to beat archrival Indiana at home next Saturday to secure bowl eligibility. Illinois (2-9, 0-7 Big Ten) lost its eighth straight game, and also lost three fumbles.
With the Boilermakers leading 13-10 late in the third quarter, Shavers scored on a 6-yard run to put Purdue up 10. Illinois would get within 20-17 with 3:28 left in the game, but the Boilermakers recovered the onside kick and then picked up a pair of first downs to seal the win.
Purdue’s Robert Marve passed for 173 yards and had a 63-yard touchdown pass to Akeem Hunt, while Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 160 yards and ran for another 76, including a touchdown, for Illinois.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Purdue has won back-to-back Big Ten road games for the first time since 2007. … Illinois has lost five straight years on Senior Day. … Purdue has won seven of the last eight meetings.