Late touchdown, blocked FG help save Illinois & win 24-21

CHAMPAIGN, IL. — Illinois looked for a fresh start for the 2017 season after a depressing 3-9 campaign last year. They got things off on the right track with a come-from-behind victory to open the season!

A touchdown rush by Mike Epstein with 2:06 remaining led to a late 3-point lead over Ball State. That lead was put at risk when Cardinals kicker Morgan Hagee attempted a 54-yard field goal to tie the game but it was blocked by Jamal Milan to save the game!

Offensive Leaders:

Passing, Chayce Crouch: 10-for-19, 145 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing, Mike Epstein: 11 carries, 54 yards, 4.9 AVG, 2 TD

Receiving, Malik Turner: 4 receptions, 48 yards, Mike Dudek: 2 receptions, 47 yards, 1 TD

Defensive Leaders:

LB Del’Shawn Phillips: 16 total tackles, 7 solo tackles, 0.5 sacks, 0.5 TFL

LB Tre Watson: 12 total tackles, 4 solo tackles, Interception

DL Bobby Roundtree: 5 total tackles, 3 solo tackles, 1.0 sacks, 1 TFL

Illinois Scoring Plays:

1st Q: Mike Dudek 16 Yd pass from Chayce Crouch (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) Ill 6, Ball 0

2nd Q: Mike Epstein 6 Yd Run (Chase McLaughlin Kick) Ill 13, Ball 7

2nd Q: Chase McLaughlin 40 Yd Field Goal Ill 16, Ball 7

4th Q: Mike Epstein 1 Yd Run (Chayce Crouch Run for Two-Point Conversion) Ill 24, Ball 21

Video Highlights:

http://fightingillini.com/news/2017/9/3/watch-highlights-from-footballs-season-opening-win.aspx

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Lucas Babcock

Lucas Babcock is the Editor in Chief and Founder of SportZreport.com. Babcock has been with the SportZreport.com Editorial Team since April 2015. Email any questions or comments to Lucas@SportZreport.com

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