(15) Purdue 38

(3-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Illinois 30

(2-2, 0-1 Big Ten)

12:00 PM ET, September 25, 2004

Memorial Stadium (Champaign, IL), Champaign, IL

1 2 3 4 T
#15PUR 10 14 7 738
ILL 10 10 3 730

Top Performers

Passing: K. Orton (EAST) - 366 YDS, 4 TD

Rushing: B. Jones (PUR) - 15 CAR, 77 YDS

Receiving: T. Stubblefield (PUR) - 11 REC, 115 YDS, 3 TD

Orton leads Purdue past Illini

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 great play."

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 opener.

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 down.

Orton also had scoring passes of 2 and 5 yards to Stubblefield and 49 yards to Brandon Jones as the Boilermakers rolled up 515 yards.

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 17-10 lead.

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 .