WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Illinois entered Saturday ranked last in the Big Ten in rushing, averaging 114.6 yards in all games.
But the Illini solved that problem for at least one week, getting 16 carries for 180 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Ke'Shawn Vaughn, 12 carries for 133 from Josh Ferguson — in his first game back from injury — and a total of 382 yards on the ground Saturday in a dominating 48-14 victory over Purdue to end a three-game skid.
The Illini (5-4, 2-3) came into this game with 917 total rushing yards. But they were playing a Purdue team ranked last in rushing defense (183 ypg).
"You can tell the difference in our offense when Fergie is in there," Illini coach Bill Cubit said of the back who had been out with a shoulder injury.
Purdue (2-7, 1-4) gained only 25 yards in the first quarter on homecoming and finished the opening half with 39 plays for 105 yards. Purdue finished with only 263 total yards.
"I thought we would execute better in all phases," Boilermakers coach Darrell Hazell said. "We did not. We never got into any rhythm offensively, especially early."