(20) Illinois 42


(6) Missouri 52


Coverage: ESPN

8:30 PM ET, August 30, 2008

1 2 3 4 T
#20ILL 6 7 15 1442
#6MIZZ 7 24 14 752

Top Performers

Passing: J. Williams (ILL) - 451 YDS, 5 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: D. Washington (MIZZ) - 19 CAR, 130 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: W. Judson (ILL) - 5 REC, 177 YDS, 2 TD

Maclin scores on two returns before leaving with injury for Missouri

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Missouri and Illinois played another wild one, combining for 92 points and 1,081 yards while leaving fans of both schools totally wrung out by the finish. Again, the sixth-ranked Tigers held on for the win.

Sean Weatherspoon bailed out a leaky defense with two late takeaways and Jeremy Maclin had a 99-yard kickoff return and 45-yard punt return before leaving in the fourth quarter with a sprained left ankle in No. 6 Missouri's 52-42 victory over No. 20 Illinois on Saturday night.

Fast Facts

•  Jeremy Maclin had 206 all-purpose yds, including a 45-yd punt return and a 99-yd kickoff return for touchdowns for Missouri.

•  Illinois quarterback Juice Williams was 27-for-41 for 452 yards and five TD passes (both career highs).

•  It was the first time Missouri and Illinois have met as ranked teams.

-- ESPN Research

A poor second half left Missouri coach Gary Pinkel trying to cheer up disappointed players. The Tigers led 31-10 at halftime.

"I'll tell you one thing: you enjoy winning. You kidding me?" Pinkel said. "I'll kick their butt tomorrow. We'll get up tomorrow and learn those lessons."

Illinois coach Ron Zook was saying the same things.

"It reminds me a lot of last year," Zook said. "We're better than that and we can't make the mistakes we made and get behind a team of that caliber and expect to be able to come back."

Missouri held off an Illini rally and won 40-34 last season, a great game by two teams on their way to big seasons. Missouri ended the year ranked fourth in the nation and Illinois played in the Rose Bowl.

Both are expecting more of the same this season, and both looked capable of big things on Saturday night.

Juice Williams was 26-for-42 for 451 yards for the Illini, nearly doubling his previous career best of 227 yards, and threw for a career-best fifth touchdown on the final play. Chris Duvalt and Will Judson each caught two touchdown passes. Judson was wide open on a 65-yarder that cut the deficit to 45-35 with early in the fourth quarter.

"We took what the defense gave us," Williams said. "We've got fast receivers on the outside and we took advantage of it."

Maclin, who finished with 234 all-purpose yards, lost his balance while running a pattern away from the play. He covered his face with a towel while being carted off the field from the Missouri sideline. He returned to the sidelines on crutches and still in uniform, his foot wrapped in ice, but the team said X-rays showed no damage.

"It's a scary moment when an impact player like that goes down," said quarterback Chase Daniel, 26-for-45 for 323 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. "He'll be out practicing Tuesday. He's fine."

Weatherspoon stopped one fourth-quarter drive with an interception at the Missouri 26, then he ripped the ball out of Daniel Dufrene's hands after a reception and returned it 35 yards for touchdown and a 52-35 lead.

Illinois added one more meaningless score and the teams easily surpassed the total of last year's track meet in the St. Louis.

Weatherspoon's big plays were among the handful from a defense that has 10 starters back and was expected to be much improved.

Derrick Washington added 130 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns in his first career start for Missouri.

Justifying its highest preseason ranking in school history on one side of the ball, Heisman Trophy finalist Daniel and Missouri ran off 21 straight points to go ahead 31-10 at the half and then answered an Illinois touchdown to open the second half with two quick scores that seemingly put the game out of range at 45-20.

Derek Walker's 34-yard interception return of Daniel's pass gave the Fighting Illini their only lead at 13-10. It was quickly erased on Maclin's kickoff return. Maclin ran into the end zone with fingers to his lips, an attempt to silence the Illinois fans.

The game sold out for the first time since the schools went to a neutral site this decade. The Edward Jones Dome was pretty much equally divided between orange-clad Illinois backers and yellow-clad Missouri partisans.

Missouri's Jeff Wolfert hit a 51-yard field goal in the first half, 3 yards off his own school record and his 17th straight successful attempt.


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2428
Total Yards532549
3rd Down Conversions7-179-17
4th Down Conversions2-20-2

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

TD10:18Derrick Washington 7 Yd Run (Jeff Wolfert Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 67 yds, 4:41
TD01:28Will Judson 30 Yd Pass From Juice Williams (Pat Blocked)
Drive: 4 plays, 64 yds, 1:46
FG14:16Jeff Wolfert 51 Yd
Drive: 7 plays, 47 yds, 2:13
TD09:25Derek Walker 34 Yd Interception Return (Matt Eller Kick) 1310
TD09:25Jeremy Maclin 99 Yd Kickoff Return (Jeff Wolfert Kick) 1317
TD05:52Derrick Washington 40 Yd Run (Jeff Wolfert Kick)
Drive: 3 plays, 80 yds, 1:06
TD00:20Chase Coffman 17 Yd Pass From Chase Daniel (Jeff Wolfert Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 87 yds, 2:25
TD09:41Chris Duvalt 20 Yd Pass From Juice Williams (Matt Eller Kick)
Drive: 6 plays, 79 yds, 1:59
TD09:41Tommy Saunders 4 Yd Pass From Chase Daniel (Jeff Wolfert Kick)
Drive: 12 plays, 67 yds, 4:50
TD02:50Tommy Saunders 21 Yd Pass From Chase Daniel (Jeff Wolfert Kick)
Drive: 1 plays, 21 yds, :06
TD01:17Chris Duvalt 26 Yd Pass From Juice Williams (Juice Williams Pass To Daniel Dufrene For Two-Point Conversion)
Drive: 4 plays, 82 yds, 1:33
TD13:23Will Judson 65 Yd Pass From Juice Williams (Matt Eller Kick)
Drive: 3 plays, 82 yds, :43
TD03:18Sean Weatherspoon 35 Yd Interception Return (Jeff Wolfert Kick) 3552
TD00:00Michael Hoomanawanui 5 Yd Pass From Juice Williams (Matt Eller Kick)
Drive: 14 plays, 70 yds, 3:18