Illinois 34 - 40 Missouri: Big Comeback Falls Short

13 photos by Dan O'Brien

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry
An announced crowd of 62,352 watched the 2007 "Arch Rivalry" contest.

Illinois' big comeback against Missouri ended in the final minute of the 4th quarter when backup QB Eddie McGee threw an ill-advised pass into double coverage near the goal line, a pass which was intercepted by the Tiger's Pig Brown. McGee was thrust into the game when starting QB Juice Williams sustained a head injury in the 2nd quarter. Still, it was an impressive unplanned debut for the redshirt freshman, who threw for 257 yds and 1 TD, and nearly brought the Illini back from a 37-13 deficit.

Freshman WR Arrelious Benn was fantastic in his debut, leading the Illini with 5 catches for 74 yds, including a 4th down grab down the middle which kept the final drive alive. On the defensive side, J Leman had 20 tackles and Vontae Davis had 10 tackles plus a blocked punt & TD.

Mistakes were plentiful for Illinois, including a fumble by McGee on the Illini goal line which was scooped up and returned 100 yds by Mizzou's Pig Brown, who racked up a number of huge plays on defense. More turnovers and a Missouri punt return for a TD allowed the Tigers to gain a 37-13 advantage, before the Illini fought back to make a game of it and potentially win on the last-minute drive.

Game articles: Illini Lose Heartbreaker to Missouri, A Pig in a poke?, Backup QB can't quite rally Illini, Injury won't squeeze Juice. Official recap. Illinois vs Missouri game thread on the Illinois Loyalty Forums.

More photos after the jump...

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry
The Marching Illini performs pregame.

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry
Missouri QB Chase Daniel looks for a target in the 1st quarter.

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry
Teammates celebrate with Vontae Davis after he blocked a punt and returned it for the game's first touchdown.

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry
Backup redshirt freshman QB Eddie McGee took over in the 2nd quarter after Juice Williams left the game with a head injury.

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry
Pig Brown during his 100+ yd return of Eddie McGee's goal line fumble in the 2nd quarter.

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry
Jeff Wolfert connects on a 27 yd FG on the final play of the 2nd quarter to give the Tigers a 23-6 lead at halftime.

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry
Rashard Mendenhall gets into the endzone on a 4 yd run to cut the Missouri lead to 37-34.

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry
Jeff Wolfert goes wide left on a 49 yd FG attempt, giving Illinois a chance to win with 2:51 left and down 6.

Illinois - Missouri - Arch Rivalry
Pig Brown steps in front of the Illini receiver (shielded from view in the photo) to intercept Eddie McGee at the 1 yd line with 0:51 to go, ending the Illini's comeback hopes.

Filed under: Illini Football, Illinois Loyalty Photos, Missouri Tigers


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2015-2016 Illini Basketball Schedule

Home: 0-0 | Away: 0-1 | Neutral: 3-3
Record: 3-4 (0-0)
Fri, Nov 13North FloridaL 93-81
Sun, Nov 15North Dakota StateW 80-74
Wed, Nov 18@ProvidenceL 60-59
Sat, Nov 21ChattanoogaL 81-77
Mon, Nov 23Chicago StateW 82-79
Fri, Nov 27UABW 72-58
Sat, Nov 28Iowa StateL 84-73
Wed, Dec 2Notre Dame
(B1G/ACC Challenge)
8:15pm ESPN2
Sat, Dec 5Western Carolina2:00pm ESPN3
Wed, Dec 9Yale7:00pm ESPN3
Sat, Dec 12UIC
(Chicago, IL)
1:00pm ESPN3
Sat, Dec 19South Dakota2:00pm ESPN3
Wed, Dec 23Missouri
(St. Louis, MO)
6:00pm ESPN2
Wed, Dec 30Michigan2:00pm ESPN2
Sun, Jan 3@Ohio State4:00pm BTN
Thu, Jan 7@Michigan State 
Sun, Jan 10Purdue 
Sat, Jan 16Nebraska1:30pm BTN
Tue, Jan 19@Indiana6:00pm ESPN
Sat, Jan 23@Minnesota 
Thu, Jan 28Ohio State8:00pm BTN
Sun, Jan 31Wisconsin6:30pm BTN
Wed, Feb 3@Rutgers5:30pm BTN
Sun, Feb 7Iowa12:00pm BTN
Sat, Feb 13@Northwestern7:00pm BTN
Tue, Feb 16Rutgers8:00pm BTN
Sun, Feb 21@Wisconsin 
Thu, Feb 25Indiana8:00pm ESPN/2
Sun, Feb 28Minnesota 
Thu, Mar 3@Maryland6:00pm ESPN/2
Sun, Mar 6@Penn State11:00am BTN
All times CT.

2015 Illini Football Results

Home: 4-2 | Away: 1-4 | Neutral: 0-1
Record: 5-7 (2-6)
Fri, Sep 4Kent StateW 52-3
Sat, Sep 12Western IllinoisW 44-0
Sat, Sep 19at North CarolinaL 48-14
Sat, Sep 26Middle TennesseeW 27-25
Sat, Oct 3NebraskaW 14-13
Sat, Oct 10at IowaL 29-20
Sat, Oct 24WisconsinL 24-13
Sat, Oct 31at Penn StateL 39-0
Sat, Nov 7at PurdueW 48-14
Sat, Nov 14Ohio StateL 28-3
Sat, Nov 21at MinnesotaL 32-23
Sat, Nov 28NorthwesternL 24-14
All times CT.