Illini Bounce Back with Shutout Victory

By Adam Harris and Alex Symonds

The Illinois football team rebounded in a big way this week, shutting out the Western Illinois Leathernecks 21-0 tonight.

After a scoreless first quarter, the orange and blue rode the running back tandem of Rashard Mendenhall and Daniel Dufrane to power through the Western defense. The Illini racked up 277 yards on the ground.

However, sophomore quarterback Juice Williams struggled throughout the game, completing 12 of 24 passes for 123 yards and an interception. He was also sacked twice.

Freshman wide receiver Arrelious Benn led the Illini receiving corps for the second straight week, pulling in four balls for 52 yards to go with three rushes for 38 yards.

The Illini defense turned in an impressive effort tonight, allowing only 152 yards to the number 23 team in the football championship subdivision (formerly 1-AA). Linebacker J Leman led the team in tackles for the second straight week, notching 11 total tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Tonight’s shutout was the first pitched by an Illinois defense in seven years. For more coverage on this story, click on the audio wrap-up to the right or pick up a copy of Monday’s Daily Illini.