Well, we can talk about questionable or downright bad calls.
But we cannot dismiss how badly Purdue outplayed the Illini. Yes, it ended 31-24 when the Illini kicked a field goal with 22 seconds to go to pull within one score (a good call; down by 10, we need the FG anyway so may as well get it)
Anyway, to the game.
It was COLD.
Fortunately, my buddy Tom showed up and, well, a “slightly rubenesque” (and attractive) Purdue fan showed up and she sat to my right for most of the game, so I had some wind protection (and Purdue fans to talk to)
This was the coldest Illini game I remember. It was only in the mid 30’s, but there was a strong wind, so it felt colder than some Bears games did. I felt good, except for my feet; should have worn boots.
We were fortunate; there were a LOT of no-shows (announced attendance was 45K, but there were far fewer at the game) Technically, I am in this photo, off to the left.
So, how did the game go down?
Purdue got the ball and drove into the wind; turned it over on downs at the Illini 25. It was too windy to have a reliable FG attempt.
The Illini promptly marched it 75 yards for a touchdown, looking sharp. I was feeling good.
Purdue drove it again, got close again, but missed a field goal. Then the Purdue defense started to stiffen just a bit. Purdue threw an interception, but then the Illini had to punt, and finally, given a short field (the Illini let a Purdue punt roll)..Purdue drove it in to tie.
The Illini responded with a beautiful 10 play drive to score, then forced a Purdue punt..but then went 3 and out themselves, but they gave themselves 3 minutes to work with.
Then came the aformetioned questionable PI call..followed by the game tying touchdown pass and..that is where the “here we go again” feeling came back.
The Boilers gained momentum in the second half; forced a punt, then got another touchdown drive..90 yards! This was the key play…set up a spectacular pass to the tight end (we’ve had trouble with that; the Iowa tight end hurt us too)
Still, the Illini did fold; the offense got ANOTHER nice, long drive to tie the game again…so going into the 4’th quarter, it was all even at 21.
I still felt ok; though I worried our defense could not stop them.
And of course, we couldn’t. A long drive with a pass to the right end who drug our DB over the goal line gave Purdue the final touchdown of the day.
The Illini could go nowhere and though the D forced 2 Purdue punts, an interception with 3:4x left allowed Purdue to make Illinois use their time outs and gain just enough yards to kick a FG into the wind to go up 31-21 with 1:05 to play.
A last gasp Illinois drive lead to an Illinois FG with 22 second to play, but an onside kick failed.
Of course, I did my own workout before the game: PT followed by a 5K walk where I got gassed in the final mile; blood donation yesterday.
Did a second exercise walk on campus (carrying a bag full of gear) trying to be mindful to not get too sweaty. The weather WAS pleasant for walking.
Other remarks: didn’t see Illinois State get smacked at South Dakota State (not a surprise).
Navy: bless them; down 35-13 at the half in Baltimore to ND, rallied to cut it to 35-32 but didn’t get the final onside kick. ND was coming off of a big win vs Clemson.
Texas: I openly wondered why UT was favored over TCU, and the more I watched the game (a defensive slug fest at first), I wondered some more. It finished 17-10, but that was because TCU fumbled a read option hand off (no defensive pressure causing it) and UT got a scoop and score. It really wasn’t that close of a game.