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  Purdue needed backup quarterback Aidan O'Connell to deliver in a pinch Saturday. He may have saved their bowl hopes. After relieving Jack Plummer in the third quarter and throwing interceptions on his first two series, the fifth-year senior capped a 94-yard scoring march drive with a 14-yard scoring toss to T.J. Sheffield for the game's only touchdown and a 13-9 victory over Illinois. "We just felt like because we became one-dimensional, we think Aidan is our most accurate thrower and that's not a knock on Jack," Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. "He stands in there. he's poised, he played to the end and he helped us find a way to win." It sure wasn't easy under the circumstances.

The Boilermakers (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) started the day without their best receiver, their top two running backs and lost starting tight end Payne Durham in the first half after a jarring hit knocked his helmet loose. After leading Purdue to field goals on its first two series, Plummer couldn't muster another score, so Brohm changed quarterbacks and O'Connell made the game-turning play for the touchdown with 5:44 left in the game. Purdue's defense clinched the victory by forcing a turnover on downs in its own red zone. Illinois (1-4, 1-2) has lost four straight since a season-opening win over Nebraska. - Purdue/AP College Football


(DS#6 QB) rSr/2023 QB Aidan OConnellPurdue
News Source: Purdue/AP College Football


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