Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall (5) is chased by Western Illinois' Marshon Royal in the first half. (AP Photo/Robert K. O'Daniell)
Sept. 8, 2007
|QB Juice Williams||VIDEO|
|DL Josh Brent||VIDEO|
|DL Jerry Brown||VIDEO|
|WR Kyle Hudson||VIDEO|
|RB Rashard Mendenhall||VIDEO|
|Interim Co-Defensive Coordinator Curt Mallory||VIDEO|
|RB Daniel Dufrene||VIDEO|
|Head Coach Ron Zook's post-game press con-
ference (premium content)
|Complete Multimedia Listings:|
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 139 yards and Illinois pulled away in the second half for a 21-0 win over Western Illinois on Saturday.
Western Illinois held the Illini (1-1) to a scoreless draw in the first quarter and trailed just 7-0 at the half.
The Leathernecks (1-1) came into the game ranked No. 23 in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly I-AA.
A 9-yard touchdown run by quarterback Juice Williams put Illinois up 13-0 early in the third quarter. With a two-touchdown lead, Illinois rode Mendenhall in the second half. The junior running back carried the ball eight times for 48 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter.
Leatherneck running back Herb Donaldson provided most of his team's offense. He carried the ball 27 times for 59 yards.
Western Illinois had only 85 yards of offense in the first half, 54 coming on 17 tough carries by Donaldson. The Leathernecks were in Illinois territory just two times, and then only briefly.
All-day rain didn't stop thousands of Fighting Illini fans from tailgating outside Memorial Stadium, including Joe and Becky Gordon of Urbana (left) and Brian and Sandi Snyder of Champaign. The rain, which shows up on this Marching Illini sousaphone before the game, tapered off during the first half.