ILL 20, Purdue 16: Rapid Reaction

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The quick hitting take on Illinois' 20-16 victory over Purdue on Saturday.

It was over when: Steve Hull intentionally took a safety, running out the clock in the process to secure the 20-16 win. The game was not over a second sooner than that.

Player of the game: Hull. The senior wonder wideout finished with 10 catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Hull has 498 yards and five touchdowns in the last three games.

Also: Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase completed 24-of-30 passes for 257 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Linebacker Jonathan Brown had eight tackles, two for loss and a sack.

Boilermaker of note: Running back Akeem Hunt had 102 yards rushing and a touchdown. His 62-yard score was Purdue's longest run from scrimmage this season.

Stat of the game: Points off turnovers. Purdue failed to score a single point following four Illini turnovers. Nathan Scheelhaase was intercepted twice and two more fumbles provided opportunities for the Boilmakers. Those efforts were shut down by a defense that closed the game with nine straight series stops.

The takeaway: It sure wasn't pretty. It definitely was not pretty. But that won't matter tonight, tomorrow or any other day. A win's a win and Illinois got the 500-pound gorilla – the Big Ten losing streak – off it's back. Purdue isn't good. Check that. Purdue is terrible, so there may be some complaints about how the game was won. For a staff and group of players that were dealing with figuring out how to win, the final margin doesn't matter. Don't be mad it wasn't more dominating. Don't feel relieved Illinois didn't lose. Instead, be happy. Tomorrow Illini Nation wakes up a winner.

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