Purdue Football 2021: Week 4 – Illinois

3:30 PM ET


Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana (Cap. 57,236)


Forecast: 68°F, 0% chance of rain, Mostly Sunny, Winds 10mph W

2021 Record

Purdue (2-1) 

Illinois (1-3)

S&P+ Rankings

Purdue – 54

Illinois – 93

All-Time Series Wins

Purdue – 45

Illinois – 45

Ties – 6

Last Win In Series

October 31st, 2020 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois (31-24)

October 26th, 2019 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana (24-6)

Projected Starting Lineups


QB: Jack Plummer

RB: King Doerue

LT: Greg Long

LG: Spencer Holstege

C: Gus Hartwing

RG: Tyler Witt

RT: Eric Miller

WR: Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen

WR: TJ Sheffield

WR: Milton Wright

NT: Lawrence Johnson

DT: Branson Deen

DE: George Karlaftis

DE: DaMarcus Mitchell

OLB: Jaylan Alexander

MLB: Kieren Douglas

OLB: Jalen Graham

CB: Jamari Brown

FS: Cam Allen

SS: Marvin Grant

CB: Dedrick Mackey

K: Mitchell Fineran

P: Jack Ansell

LS: Nick Zecchino

KR: TJ Sheffield

PR: Jackson Anthrop


2021 Stat Comparison

Offensive Points per game30.722.8
Offensive Rushing Yards Per Game110.7144.8
Offensive Passing Yards Per Game326.3207.8
Total Offensive Yards Per Game437352.5
Defensive Points per game1630.2
Defensive Rushing Yards Per Game107.3160.3
Defensive Passing Yards Per Game202.3321.3
Total Defensive Yards Per Game309.7481.5

What to Watch For

The Boilers are looking to bounce back from a tough road loss against Notre Dame, where the defense shined and the offense sputtered. Good news is Purdue has a matchup against Illinois, a program Purdue and Jeff Brohm have had success against recently, going 7-3 in the last 10 and 3-1 respectively. On offense the Boilers will look to rebound, and will likely be without star receiver David Bell, who suffered a concussion and was carted off the field last Saturday. Reports are that he is just in concussion protocol and no other injuries, so he will be a game time decision and pretty unlikely to see significant time even if he is cleared. Unfortunately for the Boilers, Bell’s replacement Mershawn Rice is reported also out with a foot injury. Milton Wright and Jackson Anthrop will be the lone upperclassmen available in the receiving ranks. Guys like Abdur-Rahmaan Yasseen (ARY) Collin Sullivan, Preston Terrell will be names to look at on the outside for contribution today. Payne Durham will look to have a bounce back game compiling just 29 yard on 6 receptions at Illinois. Illinois has had issues with their secondary in the past and continue to have issues with missed tackles. That is not only a great opportunity for the receivers but also the running backs. Purdue will continue to try to establish the run this week as it did last, because Plummer doesn’t have enough time to throw against opposing pass rushes. Illinois’ Jake Hansen is by and far Illinoi’s best defender who plays middle linebacker. Milton Wright will likely draw Devon Witherspoon, Illinois’ top corner who has 7 passes defended on the year.

On the other side of the ball the Purdue defense will look to continue it’s stout performance that it had last week against Notre Dame. Look for the D-Line to continue to wreck havoc in backfields and Purdue to play lots of tight man coverage. On Offense Illinois’ biggest threats are receiver Isaiah Williams and the combo backs of Chase Brown and Reggie Love. Williams leads Illinois in receptions with 21, good for 230 yards and 1 TD. Brown and Love are both solid running backs and play behind an OL with tons of experience. They will likely be most dangerous in the passing game out of the backfield for the Illini. Former Georgia Bulldog, Luke Ford is the leading Tight End for the Illini and will see how he squares up against Jalen Graham after Graham nearly shut down Michael Mayer last week. Throwing the pigskin for the Illini will likely be 5th year senior Brandon Peters, who has already dealt with injuries this season. So far in his career, Peters is completing 52.9% of his passes and has a TD-Int ration of nearly 2:1. Bakcing up Peters is a familiar face for Purdue fans, former Rutgers Scarlet Knight Art Sitkowski, who transferred to Illinois this offseason. Sitkowski’s numbers are very similar to Peters, but I think has a bit more athleticism.

It might not seem it, but this is a big test for Purdue this season. Brohm has preached embracing the ups and downs of the season all throughout camp. How do they respond to a loss? The Boilers look to bounce back and start the season 3-1 for the first time since 2012.


Radio: Purdue Radio Network


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