Illinois shuts down Western Michigan, 24-7

With quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase injured, Ashante Williams returned an interception 60 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown to help Illinois and new coach Tim Beckman hang on for a 24-7 win Saturday over Western Michigan in the season opener for both teams. The Illini opened up a 17-0 lead but their offense stalled when Scheelhaase left the game with an ankle injury late in the third quarter.

The Broncos came to life and pulled to within 17-7 with an 8-yard touchdown from Alex Carder to Jaime Wilson just before the end of the quarter. Western Michigan was driving again when Williams picked off Carder to douse the comeback.

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FOURTH QUARTER

Western Michigan’s run game never got out of the backfield in the fourth, as Illinois held the Broncos to -5 rushing yards, and the Fighting Illini finished off Western Michigan 24-7. Illinois made the score 24-7 when Ashante Williams intercepted a Alex Carder pass and returned it for a touchdown.

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