CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- When Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton called
an audible on third-and-8, receiver Taylor Stubblefield had a
better idea. He yelled at Orton, who got the message and found
Stubblefield on a down-and-out for a 34-yard touchdown.
The play gave the No. 15 Boilermakers a 15-point lead in the fourth
quarter and they held on to beat Illinois 38-30 on Saturday.
"I audibled to a different play but he wanted to run something
different," Orton said. "I have enough trust in him to say 'OK,
run what you want' and he ran it and it was a great route and a
The TD pass was one of four thrown by Orton, who completed 32 of
50 passes for 366 yards and was not intercepted for the third
straight game. Stubblefield, who finished with 11 catches for 115
yards, said the touchdown play didn't come out of nowhere.
"We had talked about it on the sidelines, so I gave him another
signal and just ran to the ball," Stubblefield said, demonstrating
an 'OK' sign with his fingers.
The Boilermakers (3-0, 1-0) won their eighth straight Big Ten
Illinois (2-2, 0-1) pulled within 38-30 when Jon Beutjer hit
Jason Davis out of the backfield on a 26-yard TD pass with 4:42
left. The Illini got the ball back with 45 seconds to go, but they
were out of timeouts and Beutjer fumbled the ball away on second
Orton also had scoring passes of 2 and 5 yards to Stubblefield
and 49 yards to Brandon Jones as the Boilermakers rolled up 515
Orton was particularly effective on third down, completing 12
passes for first down yardage.
"He did a great job of managing the game and executing the
offense," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. "We're always looking for
perfection, but he played awfully well once again."
Beutjer threw three touchdown passes for the Illini who put
themselves in a hole early by fumbling a reverse on the game's
first play. Receiver Ade Adeyamo bobbled the handoff from Beutjer
and Bobby Iwuchukwu recovered at the 5, leading to a Orton's 2-yard
TD toss to Stubblefield.
Adeyamo broke his left fibula on the fumble and will miss at
least six weeks, Illinois coach Ron Turner said.
"It was a bad handoff," Beutjer said. "If that would've never
happened, we would have had a lot better chance."
Beutjer completed 22 of 37 passes for 215 yards as the Illini
put up 390 yards of offense. E.B. Halsey ran for 83 yards on 15
carries and Davis rushed eight times for 48 yards and caught five
passes for 45 yards for Illinois.
Illinois battled back with the help of special teams. A 72-yard
kickoff return by Pierre Thomas helped set up Beutjer's 5-yard
touchdown toss to tight end Anthony McClellan that tied it at 10 in
the first quarter.
But Orton led the Boilermakers on a 13-play, 73-yard drive on
the next series, including a 31-yard completion to Kyle Ingraham on
third-and-21. Orton ran the final yard himself to give Purdue a
Purdue went up 24-13 in the second quarter when Orton found his
tailback Jones wide open for a 49-yard TD pass.
"They just played straight man-to-man with no safety help,"
Orton said. "We just checked a little go route for Brandon out of
the backfield and he was wide open. A good play and good catch."
Jones caught seven balls for 95 yards and carried 15 times for
77 yards for Purdue.
Illinois missed a chance to pull within a point early in the
third quarter when Iwuchukwu blocked Steve Weatherford's 45-yard
field goal attempt. Weatherford was successful from 48 yards out
and Jason Reda added field goals of 22 and 24 yards .