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.
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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