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Illinois-Northwestern: 3rd quarter analysis

Mikel Leshoure is approaching 250 yards on the ground for the Illini. Jerry Lai/US Presswire

The most stunning sight of the third quarter? Two of the first three series ending in punts after just one of 18 ending with something other than a touchdown, a field goal, a missed field goal or a turnover in the first half.

Until the final possession of the third, Illinois’ defense seemed to settle down and start tackling in the third quarter, forcing two three-and-outs until Northwestern gained 13, 14 and 23 yards on consecutive plays to set up a first-and-10 on the Illini 29.

Should be an interesting fourth quarter in what turned out to be a really entertaining game.