Halftime update: Illinois 28, Indiana 7

October, 18, 2008
10/18/08
9:49
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Illinois didn't begin to stretch the field last week until its back was against the wall.

The Illini didn't wait around tonight.

Quarterback Juice Williams is well on his way to another huge performance, racking up 212 passing yards and three touchdowns in the opening half. Williams has completions of 60, 37 and 20 yards, repeatedly dissecting an overmatched Indiana secondary. Keep in mind this guy accounted for 934 yards of offense the last two games.

Wide receiver Arrelious Benn (six receptions, 119 receiving yards) has been tremendous since the bye week, and I'm very impressed with freshman Jason Ford (87 rush yards, TD), a stocky back with deceptive speed.

The Illini defense has flustered Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell, who made his first career start in place of Kellen Lewis (high ankle sprain). The defensive line has finally stepped up, with Will Davis, Derek Walker, Josh Brent and Cory Liuget all contributing.

Indiana is struggling to match up with Illinois' athleticism, and Lewis' absence certainly stings. Chappell, who has played in five previous games this season, completed just 5 of 17 passes in the half.

The Hoosiers need a big play or two early in the third quarter to spark a rally. Otherwise, it'll be a fifth consecutive loss and more heat on head coach Bill Lynch. I'll be back later tonight with helmet stickers.

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