On the first Illinois drive, they moved the ball quickly on offense, getting to the 18 before running back Josh Ferguson got popped and coughed up the ball.
From there, Louisiana Tech mounted a 21-7 lead before Illinois was able to close the gap to 21-17 before halftime.
Here are some of the standout players and plays of the first half.
Illinois Standout: Reilly O'Toole
After Scheelhaase fumbled and threw an interception in the first half, O'Toole came in and provided some stability for Illinois, leading them to 17 points and keeping them in the game.
Illinois was down 21-7 when Louisiana Tech muffed a punt return and Zach Becker recovered the punt at the Louisiana Tech 10-yard line. Illinois only yielded a field goal out of great starting position, but the momentum swing helped get things moving.
Second Half Emphasis:
Illinois MUST eliminate the turnovers. They were extremely costly in the first half, and if they want to win the game, they have to keep the ball out of the hands of the Louisiana Tech offense.