CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- It may be a long while before
Florida A&M looks forward to a rematch against Illinois.
The Fighting Illini scored the first 52 points in three quarters
and coasted to a 52-13 victory over the Division I-AA Rattlers
in the first meeting between the two schools.
Pierre Thomas rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns and E.B.
Halsey scored twice as the Illini broke a 10-game losing streak.
Jon Beutjer was nearly flawless, completing 16-of-18 passes for
228 yards and a touchdown to Melvin Bryant.
Cornerback Kelvin Hayden intercepted Ben Dougherty twice,
scoring a 23-yard touchdown on one of his picks. Dougherty was
22-for-34 for 144 yards.
John Driscoll replaced Dougherty and scored both Florida A&M
touchdowns on one-yard runs in the fourth quarter.
Florida A&M has lost its last nine games against Division I-A
opponents by an average of 36.8 points.
Four Rattlers were unavailable because they were suspended for
playing while academically ineligible.