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updated: 11/19/2012 8:15 AM

Illinois can't complete comeback against Purude

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  • Purdue's Nnamdi Ezenwa (18) tackles Illinois' Terry Hawthorne (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Stephen Haas)

      Purdue's Nnamdi Ezenwa (18) tackles Illinois' Terry Hawthorne (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Stephen Haas)

 
Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN -- Akeem Hunt turned a short pass into a 63-yard touchdown, and Purdue took another step toward a second consecutive bowl berth with a 20-17 victory at Illinois on Saturday.

Hunt's big play gave the Boilermakers (5-6, 2-5 Big Ten) a 13-3 lead in the third quarter. After Illinois pulled within 13-10 on a 16-yard touchdown run by Dami Ayoola, Ralph Bolden's 63-yard run set up Akeem Shavers' 6-yard TD scamper for a 20-10 Purdue lead.

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With their first back-to-back Big Ten road wins since 2009, the Boilermakers stayed alive in its chase for postseason play. If Purdue can beat Indiana at home next Saturday to earn bowl eligibility, it will be its first three-game winning streak in one season since 2007.

Illinois (2-9, 0-7) remained the only team in the Big Ten without a conference win. The Illini have a 13-game conference losing streak.

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