Aug. 31, 2008
1. Illinois' 42-point performance is tied for the second-highest in the Ron Zook era and marks the third time in the Illini's last five games that they have topped the 40-point mark.
2. Juice Williams became just the fourth quarterback in Illinois history to throw for five or more touchdowns in a game, joining Dave Wilson (6), Tom O'Connell (5) and Jeff George (5).
3. Williams had a career day for the Illini, throwing for a career-high five TDs as well as a career-best 451 yards on a career-high 26 completions. His 451 passing yards rank third all-time at Illinois behind Wilson's 621 yards (11/8/80) and Tony Eason's 479 (10/23/82). Williams now holds the Illinois records for passing yardage and TDs in a season opener. He out-passed Chase Daniel 451 yards to 323 and threw two more TDs than the Missouri senior. Williams' performance also marked the second-straight year that Illinois has thrown for more than 250 yards against the Tigers.
4. Williams also made the career total offense record list with his 461 yards, surpassing Jeff George and moving into seventh place with 4,934 yards. He needs 225 yards to surpass Jon Beutjer and move into sixth place.
5. Will Judson also had a banner night, hauling in a career-high five passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns, surpassing his previous highs of two catches for 16 yards at Indiana on Sept. 22, 2007. His 177 yards are tied for seventh on Illinois' single-game receiving record list with Mike Martin (vs. Ohio State, 10/16/82), and marks the Illini's first 100-yard receiving game since Jeff Cumberland recorded 131 yards against Northwestern on Nov. 17, 2007.
6. Judson and Chris Duvalt each hauled in two touchdown receptions, marking the first time since the 2002 Sugar Bowl that Illinois has had two receivers with two TDs (Walter Young and Brandon Lloyd vs. LSU).
7. Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui also got in on the act, breaking his career highs for receptions and yards with three catches for 48 yards. He also caught a touchdown as time expired.
8. With 9:25 remaining in the second quarter, Derek Walker intercepted a screen pass by Chase Daniel and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown, his first career touchdown and first INT by a down lineman since Jeff Ruffin's pick-six against Purdue on Oct. 12, 2002. The play also marked Illinois' first INT returned for a TD since Travon Bellamy's 41-yard return at Wisconsin on Oct. 28, 2006.
9. Following Walker's touchdown, redshirt-freshman kicker Matt Eller booted his first career point-after-touchdown.
10. True freshman Fred Sykes grabbed his first career reception with 8:57 left in the second quarter, catching a 20-yard pass from Juice Williams. Following that play, true freshman Jason Ford got his first career carry, going three yards.
11. With 9:33 left in the third quarter, Williams hit Duvalt with a 20-yard touchdown strike, marking Duvalt's first career reception and first career TD reception. Duvalt hauled in his second career TD catch with 1:17 left in the third quarter, a 26-yard pass from Williams.
12. Arrelious Benn recorded a career-high seven receptions in tonight's game, surpassing his previous career best of six against Penn State on Sept. 29, 2007.
13. Illinois' successful two-point conversion pass from Williams to Daniel Dufrene in the third quarter marked the first time the Illini have converted a two-point conversion since the Purdue game on Nov. 11, 2006.
14. Dere Hicks recorded his first career punt return early in the fourth quarter.
15. Ten true freshmen saw the field tonight for the Illini: Mikel LeShoure, A.J. Jenkins, Cordale Scott, Jason Ford, Tavon Wilson, Supo Sanni, Russell Ellington, Fred Sykes, Hubie Graham and Corey Liuget. In addition, redshirt-freshmen Matt Eller, Ian Thomas and Daryle Ballew all saw the field for the first time in their careers.