Illinois 24, WMU 7 - Rapid Reaction

CHAMPAIGN - A quick rundown following the Illinois victory over Western Michigan.

Play of the game: Ashante Williams interception returned 60 yards for a touchdown with 9:06 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Illinois offense had grown stale and Western Michigan was driving with momentum. Williams stepped in front of a pass from Broncos' quarterback Alex Carder and returned it untouched for a score, giving the Illini a 24-7 and essentially putting the game out of reach.

Developing storyline:The status of Nathan Scheelhaase. The junior quarterback injured his left leg in the third quarter and did not return to the game. He had his left ankle heavily taped and had to be carted from the field.

Stat of the game: 3 - The Illini defense intercepted Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder three times. Williams, Buchanan, Earnest Thomas each had a pick, as Carder had an up and down day. He finished 26 of 43 with 226 yards and one touchdown.

What it means: The Tim Beckman Era begins with a win. While it certainly wasn't a perfect effort, especially on offense, Beckman has to pleased to start his tenue with a solid season opening win.

"It's the first victory, and we're going to build from there," Beckman said.


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