PURDUE FOOTBALL NOTES VS. ILLINOIS
PURDUE SPORTS INFORMATION
Series History Illinois leads 44-43-6 In West Lafayette: Illinois leads 22-21-4 In Champaign: Tied 22-22-2 First Meeting: Nov. 22, 1890 – Purdue won 62-0 at home Last Meeting: Nov. 4, 2017 – Purdue won 29-10 at home Noteworthy: More than one-third of the Fighting Illini’s wins in the series came between 1897 and 1919, when they went 15-2-2 against the Boilermakers. Purdue has won 10 of the last 13 games – including three in a row and five of six on the road – dating to 2003. Cannon The Cannon was conceived by Purdue students more than 100 years ago but was first presented as a trophy by an Illinois alumnus 75 years ago. It all started in 1905 when a group of Purdue students took the weapon to Champaign in anticipation of firing it to celebrate a victory. Although Purdue did win the game 29-0, Illinois supporters, including Quincy A. Hall, had discovered the Cannon in its hiding place – in a culvert near the old Illinois field – and confiscated it before the Purdue students could start their “booming” celebration. Later, Hall moved the Cannon to his farmhouse near Milford, Illinois, where it survived a fi re and gathered dust until Hall suggested it be used as a trophy between the two schools when the rivalry was resumed in 1943 after a 12-year lapse. The Tomahawk Service and Leadership Honorary at Purdue and Illini Pride now share the maintenance duty. Purdue leads the Cannon series 35-29-2, including 10 wins in the last 13 match-ups. Purdue won the 2017 meeting 29-10 in West Lafayette. Century Mark Brycen Hopkins’ 103 receiving yards against Nebraska marked his second 100-yard receiving game of the season (also 136 vs. Missouri). He is the first Purdue tight end to reach triple-digit yards through the air more than once in a season since Dustin Keller did so three times in 2007. Knocking Off Ranked Opponents Purdue sent No. 23 Boston College to its first loss of the season and booted it out of the AP Top 25 with a 30-13 win Sept. 22. The victory marked the Boilermakers’ first win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 23 Illinois 21-14 on Oct. 22, 2011. Purdue has defeated 35 teams in school history when the opposition is ranked and the Boilermakers are not. It was the first triumph over a ranked opponent in the last 20 tries, and the 17-point edge was the largest margin of victory over a top 25 team since beating No. 5 Michigan State 52-28 on Oct. 16, 1999.
Staying on Schedule:
The Boilermakers have been very successful when playing in front of the chains this season. Purdue is converting 71 percent of its third downs (22 of 31) when facing four or less yards (including a perfect 11 for 11 on third-and-one). Overall, the Boilers are converting on third down 46 percent of the time, a figure that ranks 27th nationally. Standing Tall Standing 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-9, respectively, D.J. Knox and Rondale Moore have been two of the Boilermakers’ most productive players this season. Combined, the duo have accounted for 40 of Purdue’s 100 non-penalty first downs (40 percent), 10 of Purdue’s 18 touchdowns (56 percent), 526 of 849 rushing yards (62 percent) and 487 of 1,601 receiving yards (30 percent).
Quarterback David Blough has been in a zone tossing the ball over Purdue’s last three games. Against Missouri, No. 23 Boston College and Nebraska, Blough was 85 of 125 (68 percent) for 1,196 yards and seven touchdowns against merely one interception. He is averaging 398.7 yards per game passing during the three-game run.
Against Missouri, senior quarterback David Blough set the Purdue game passing yards record (572) and the Big Ten game total offense mark (590). The previous standards were 546 passing yards by Curtis Painter against Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl on Dec. 26, 2007, and 585 yards of total offense by Dave Wilson of Illinois against Ohio State on Nov. 8, 1980. Blough’s passing yards rank second in Big Ten history, trailing only Wilson’s 621 in that game (he had -36 yards rushing).
It Doesn’t Happen Very Often:
When D.J. Knox (152) and Markell Jones (109) both topped the century mark in rushing yards against
Eastern Michigan on Sept. 8, it was the first time a pair of Boilermakers went for 100-plus yards in
the same game since 2002 (Brandon Jones, 131, and Joey Harris, 102). It was merely the 27th time in
school history that the feat has been accomplished and only the fifth time in the last 35 years. Please
see page 101 of the Purdue Records Book for the entire list of the previous 26 100-yard rushing duos.
It was the fifth time Jones rushed for over 100 yards in a game in his career and the third, and also a
career-high, for Knox.
We Want Moore:
True freshman Rondale Moore became a household name when he electrified the nation with a record-breaking performance in his collegiate debut against Northwestern on Aug. 30. With a FBS-best 313 all-purpose yards against the Wildcats (79 rushing, 109 receiving, 125 kickoff return), Moore eclipsed Otis Armstrong’s single game school record of 312 yards set Nov. 25, 1972. Moore had a huge first half, racking up 302 all-purpose yards in the initial 30 minutes. That alone would have placed him third in the Purdue record book. With the Boilermakers trailing 14-0 in the first 10 minutes of the opening quarter, Moore hauled in a 32-yard touchdown reception from Elijah Sindelar and ripped off a 76-yard scoring run to even the score before the quarter ended.
More on Moore: Rondale Moore is the first freshman (true or redshirt) in school history to make his Boilermaker debut with a 100-yard receiving game. Moore hauled in a game-high 11 receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown in his first collegiate game against Northwestern … His reception total was the highest by any player in the Big Ten on the opening week of college football and his yardage tally was second to only Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin’s 121 vs. Oregon State … Moore’s 76-yard touchdown rush in the first quarter against Northwestern was the longest run by a Boilermaker since Akeem Hunt went 82 yards to the house at Indiana on Nov. 29, 2014 … Moore’s average of 8.2 receptions per game is second in the FBS and first in the Big Ten … Moore ranks third in the FBS and first in the Big Ten with an average of 179.0 all-purpose yards per game … Moore ranks 13th in the nation and first in the Big Ten with 41 receptions on the year … His 457 receiving yards for the season are third among all Big Ten players.