News Local/State

Illini Fall At Home To Purdue, 38-27


The Illini football team won't likely be favored to win another game this season, after suffering a 38-27 loss to Purdue on Saturday in Champaign.

The Boilermakers were regarded as perhaps the Big Ten's weakest team, and worst offensive team, before exploding for 349 yards rushing against an Illini defense that's been porous all season.

Defensive Coordinator Tim Banks admits he's tired of seeing the same thing again and again.

"It's always difficult when you see something and you think you've got it corrected, and then obviously it shows its head again," he said.  "It's frustrating, not just for us coaches, but for the players.  But again, we're all in this thing together.  We'll go back to the drawing board, and figure out how we can get it corrected."

Quarterback Wes Lunt returned to action after sitting out at Nebraska.  But Offensive Coordinator Bill Cubit said Lunt played injured throughout the game, suffering from a calf injury from the previous game against Washington.

Backup Riley O'Toole played the fourth quarter after Lunt left with another injury. Head coach Tim Beckman said Lunt could have returned to the game, but the staff chose to hold him out.

Illinois Receiver Mike Dudek caught eight passes for 200 yards.

Beckman said the whole locker room was somber afterwards.

"You're halfway through your football season, you're 3-3, we didn't play very well today, we didn't coach well at all today," he said.  "(But) when we lose, we lose as a team, and that's exactly how we took it."

Illlinois is back on the road next Saturday, playing at Wisconsin.