October 24, 1998
By HANK LOWENKRON
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Drew Brees continued his assault on Purdue passing records, throwing for 187 yards and two touchdowns in the first half as Purdue beat Illinois 42-9 Saturday.
Brees also ran for a touchdown in the opening half as Purdue built a 28-0 lead, outgaining the Illini 302-83. Brees completed 22-of-30 for 261 yards and three touchdowns before being replaced in the third quarter. The sophomore moved into seventh place on the school's career list for passing yardage for a season with 2,620 yards. With 20 touchdowns, he needs four to break the school record set by Mike Phipps in 1969 and matched by Mark Herrmann and Jim Everett.
The Boilermakers (4-4, 2-2 Big Ten) scored twice in 28 seconds of the opening quarter, driving 75 yards in 12 plays on their first possession. J.Crabtree carried eight times for 36 yards on the drive, which ended with Brees hitting tight end Tim Stratton for a 5-yard score with 5:20 left in the period.
When Brees wasn't handing to Crabtree, he was finding open receivers, connecting on all four of his attempts for 49 yards.
Illinois (2-6, 1-4) fumbled on its first offensive play after the kickoff when quarterback Kurt Kittner lost the ball and Willie Fells recovered at the Illinios 19. Bress tucked the ball away and sprinted left for 18 yards on first down to set up a 1-yard plunge by Dondre Johnson with 4:59 remaining in the period.
The fumble was one of four lost by the Illini, who also had a pass intercepted. Purdue, meanwhile, ran for a season-high 217 yards despite going with reserves in the fourth quarter. The Boilermakers accumulated 501 yards.
David Nugent hit Kittner to force a fumble in the second quarter and dove on the ball at the Purdue 28. Brees then capped a 72-yard, 10-play drive with a 2-yard TD run and completed a conversion pass to Isaac Jones.
With time running out in the half, Brees moved the Boilermakers 75 yards in eight plays to hit Chris Daniels with a 29-yard scoring pass. Brees completed six passes on the drive for 73 yards.
Purdue missed another scoring opportunity as it was stopped on downs when
Brees was sacked at the Illini 6 early in the third quarter. On Purdue's next
possession, Brees moved his team 69 yards in six plays, the score coming on a
14-yard pass to Randall Lane with 4:12 left in the third quarter. The extra
point made it 35-0 and Brees was given the rest of the day off.