Video games have provided countless hours of entertainment to kids (and some adults) across the country for years. They are a escape from reality and give the player the opportunity to explore new worlds and try new things that may not be possible. This stimulates the player's mind and imagination and always seems to have them asking, "what if?"
As I watched this week's simulation between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Purdue Boilermakers, I thought to myself, "what if Saturday's game looks exactly like this?" I'm not sure if any of you are planning on attending the game Saturday in Memorial Stadium or simply watching the game from home, but this is NOT how we want things to go.
Allow me to explain...
This one opened up with a wonderful scoring drive by the Illini, capped off by a Malik Turner 6-yard touchdown grab from Wes Lunt to put the Illini ahead 7-0. After punting the next series, the Illini would score on their next 2 possessions (one Josh Ferguson run for 11 yards, and one Josh Ferguson touchdown catch for 2 yards) and just like that, they were ahead 21-0. Purdue's Paul Griggs would tack on a Field Goal from 35 yards out, and the end of the first quarter resulted in a 21-3 Illini lead.
And then the Second Quarter happened (I'll give you the readers digest version).
First a 88-yard touchdown run from Ferguson, then another 35-yard Griggs Field Goal made it 28-6 Illini. Then, a Danny Etling touchdown pass of 3 yards to Danny Anthrop and a 1-yard touchdown pass to Akeem Hunt cut the Illini lead to 28-20. A 37-yard pass from Lunt to Mikey Dudek was answered on the next possession by Etling to Anthrop (again) from 4 yards out (throw in a missed 2-pt conversion for the Boilers) and the score was 35-26. One last touchdown pass from Lunt to Donovonn Young would cap off a 44 combined point total. Wes would end the game with 321 total passing yards (26-61 42%) and the Illini would coast into halftime.
Halftime Score: ILLINI ~ 42 Purdue ~ 26
The Third Quarter opened up strong for the Illini, as Josh Ferguson would scamper 78 yards on the opening play for a touchdown and a 49-26 Illini lead. He would finish with just 346 rushing and 3 touchdowns. The defense would lock down the Purdue offense limiting them to a mere 48 yards of offense in the quarter and also added a fumble recovery to the mix. David Reisner would add a 45-yard Field goal and the Illini were up 52-26 heading into the fourth quarter.
***IF YOU'RE HAVING A GOOD DAY, STOP READING. IT ONLY GOES DOWNHILL FROM HERE***
***SERIOUSLY, THIS IS THE PART WHERE WE BLOW A 26 POINT LEAD IN THE 4TH QUARTER***
***THIS IS NOT A DRILL***
The fourth quarter was a complete disaster for the Illini. It started with a 10-yard run by Raheem Mostert, and was followed on the next series by a 44-yard touchdown pass from Etling to Justin Sinz cutting the Illini lead to 52-40. Then Wes threw a pick and the Boilers scored again. This time, a broken play resulting in a 2 yard touchdown run by Etling to cut the lead to 52-46 (the Boilers would again fail to convert on a 2 point conversion). Wes would throw another pick on the next series and Griggs would boot a 21 yard Field Goal home to make it 52-49 with under two minutes left. Purdue used 2 timeouts to stop the clock around the 1:30 mark and on a 3rd and 7 for the Illini, Wes would throw ANOTHER interception. Etling and the Boilermakers would run the ball down to the 3 yard line and with just :14 seconds left, Akeem Hunt would punch the ball into the endzone.
Here are a few depictions of what happened next:
Please let this be wrong...
FINAL SCORE: ILLINI ~ 52 Purdue ~ 56