Rashard Mendenhall runs for one of his two touchdowns against Missouri Saturday.
Sept. 1, 2007
|Head Coach Ron Zook||VIDEO|
|WR Arrelious Benn||VIDEO|
|WR Brian Gamble||VIDEO|
|WR Kyle Hudson||VIDEO|
|WR Jacob Willis||VIDEO|
|QB Eddie McGee||VIDEO|
|LB Brit Miller||VIDEO|
|DL Derek Walker||VIDEO|
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Redshirt freshman Eddie McGee came off the bench when starting signal-caller Juice Williams went out with an injury, and came within an eyelash of leading the Fighting Illini to a stunning come-from-behind upset victory over Missouri in St. Louis. Mizzou won, 40-34, but not until after making an interception at the goal line in Illinois' final offensive series with less than a minute to go.
The Tigers (1-0) scored on a 100-yard fumble return and a 66-yard punt return and were up 37-13 late in the third quarter.
Illinois redshirt freshman quarterback Eddie McGee - in the game after starter Juice Williams left after a blow to the head in the second quarter - scored from 16 yards with 4:08 to play in the third quarter to cut the margin to 17.
After Missouri's Dana Alexander fumbled on a double-reverse, McGee hit Kyle Hudson on a 41-yard scoring pass on the next play. The Illini got within three early in the fourth quarter after Daniel fumbled deep in his own territory. Rashard Mendenhall scored from the 4 two plays later to make it 37-34.
Missouri went ahead 40-34 on Jeff Wolfert's 32-yard field goal with 8:32 to play, then held on.
The Illini had one final shot, taking over at their 30 with 2:51 to play and driving to the Missouri 22. But Brown leaped high to intercept Brown's pass, and Missouri ran out the clock.
McGee was 17-for-31 for 257 yards and a touchdown, but lost two fumbles and was intercepted twice. One of the fumbles came when McGee was inches from scoring on a quarterback draw in the second quarter. Missouri safety Pig Brown scooped up the ball and ran 100 yards the other way.
Daniel was 37-for-54 for 359 yards and threw touchdown passes of 1 yard to Chase Coffman in the first quarter, 2 yards to Will Franklin in the second quarter and 25 yards to Jeremy Maclin in the third quarter.
Maclin also scored on a 66-yard punt return that put Missouri up 37-13 with 6:11 to play in the third quarter, before the Illini began the comeback.
Martin Rucker caught 10 passes for 86 yards for Missouri, and Alexander had nine catches for 82 yards.
Illinois rushed for 174 yards, led by Daniel Dufrene's 58 yards on six carries. Mendenhall had 42 yards and scored on runs of 25 and 4 yards.
Williams was scrambling near the sideline early in the second quarter when he appeared to take a helmet-to-helmet hit from Missouri cornerback Hardy Ricks. No penalty was called.
The Illini said Williams was held out for the remainder of the game as a precaution. He was 6-for-9 for 59 yards and rushed six times for 15 yards.