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Illinois leads 28-21 after wild first half

Maybe Illinois should play all of its games in December.

An offense that looked beyond anemic earlier this fall has shown up in a big way today. Quarterback Juice Williams and wide receiver Arrelious Benn, who shared a national awards Web site (7-to-9.com) entering the fall, hooked up for their first touchdown pass of the season, an electrifying 58-yarder with just eight seconds left in the half.

It marked Benn's second touchdown of the season, and the score put Illinois ahead 28-21 at the break.

Benn's catch certainly put the momentum back on Illinois' side after Fresno State had scored just 14 seconds earlier. Quarterback Ryan Colburn finally showed up for the Bulldogs and found Seyi Ajirotutu on a nice fade route. Both defenses have an interception leading to a touchdown, though the offenses are stealing the show.

Williams has completed just four passes, but two have gone for touchdowns. Illinois has racked up 165 rush yards in the opening half, while Ryan Mathews, the nation's leading rusher, has 54 rush yards on 14 carries.