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The Fighting Illini are ready to face a familiar foe: the Purdue Boilermakers in the highly anticipated Battle of the Cannon on October 12. They have a combined record of 45-48 against each other in the series.

Last season, the Boilermakers won 44-19. After trailing by three points at halftime, the Illini were outscored 21-0 in the third quarter.

There were many reasons for their second-half woes. They received nine penalties, allowed five sacks, made just one of 13 third down attempts and had three fumbles.

In addition to the mistakes, the Fighting Illini had to contend with a number of injuries to some of their regular players.

Leading runner Reggie Love did not play due to an ankle injury, while defensive end Denzel Daxon was briefly out in the first half. Offensive linemen Josh Gesky and Zy Crisler left the game in the third quarter with ankle injuries. Defensive end Jer’Zhan Newton left the game twice due to a shoulder injury before returning in the second half.

“Obviously we gave up scooping and scoring in the first half and it was a total collapse in the second half,” Illini coach Bret Bielema said after the game. “That’s on my shoulder. We had a tight end bust (on Garrett Miller’s score) and it really went downhill from that point on.”

To avoid a repeat, the Illini will need to finish stronger to end their three-game losing streak against the Boilermakers.

Zachary Draves is an Illini Now staff writer. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Instagram at @zdraves0633.

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