It was not the Saturday Illinois football players wanted to send their seniors out on for the final home game at Memorial Stadium.

The Illini were handed a second straight loss, 31-24 to Purdue, sending the Cannon Trophy back to West Lafayette..

It extends the win streak over the Illini to six games in Champaign and it helped that the Boilermakers defense kept the nation’s leading rusher, Chase Brown, in check..

The Heisman hopeful scored two touchdowns, however, the streak of 100 plus yard rushing games ended at 10..


It leaves the road to a Big Ten Championship that much harder. Instead of controlling their destiny, the Illini have to win at third ranked Michigan, a place they haven’t won since 2008 just to stay in the race.

I’ve told the guys on this journey you’ve won a lot in these moments of success but you will learn more in moments of failure. Moments of adversity,” head coach Bret Bielema said. “It hurt double because it was senior day. Those guys can’t leave this field with a win and I know they were very emotional when walking down the stairs there. The good news is we’ve done a lot of great things but the bad news is we haven’t done enough the last two weeks. It’s a race that’s no where close to be done though. The only thing we can worry about now is Illinois football. Were in no position which was our directive this week. We wanted to focus on Purdue. Playing a divisional opponent. A rematch. We won the previous six rematch games and this was our first failure in a rematch. Very very hard to win after the things we were doing.”


Last time playing in that stadium being a senior. It was my only year here but wanted to get one for the guys who have been here 4-5-6 years,” quarterback Tommy Devito said. “It sucks to not get it done and falling short in back to back weeks. We just can’t beat ourselves up about it. Get into the film and get better from it.”

That game against the Wolverines is scheduled for 11 A.M. on Saturday.