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Illinois vs. Northwestern 2016: Live Updates, Analysis, Highlights, and Discussion

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Follow along with our live blog during today's game!


Welcome to the TCR GameThread! The Fighting Illini take on the Northwestern Wildcats this afternoon, and Steve Bourbon (@steve_bourbon) will be covering the action for us. Make sure to refresh this page throughout the game for updates and analysis on the Orange and Blue.

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We'll have a recap up shortly after the game concludes; all post-game discussion should take place there. Go Illini!

8:20 1st Quarter: After both teams trade punts, Northwestern finally puts some points on the board with a 9-yard touchdown run from John Moten IV. Illinois has eight total yards and Wes Lunt is 1-for-5 passing.

Northwestern 7, Illinois 0

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2:22 1st Quarter: Moten IV is already having a career day as he records his second rushing touchdown of the day -- this time it's a 43-yard scamper to double up the Wildcats' lead.

Northwestern 14, Illinois 0

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END OF 1ST QUARTER: Northwestern 14, Illinois 0

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12:45 2nd Quarter: Malik Turner fumbles and Northwestern recovers. Just two plays later, the Wildcats are in the end zone again. Shield your eyes, this is getting ugly. Northwestern has 128 yards on the ground.

Northwestern 21, Illinois 0

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7:44 2nd Quarter: Illinois is moving the ball, with a steady diet of short passes to Malik Turner. He made a sliding catch near that sidelines that would have put Illinois inside the 10-yard line, but it was ruled incomplete. He hauled in a pass for a 19-yard touchdown on fourth down two plays later to get the Illini on the board.

Northwestern 21, Illinois 7

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3:41 2nd Quarter: Northwestern goes for it on fourth and one at the Illinois 36, but a holding penalty negates the conversion. Wildcats forced to punt. If Illinois scores here, we might have a game.

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0:53 2nd Quarter: Illinois is moving the ball again, although its main offensive catalyst -- Malik Turner -- is down on the sidelines holding his knee after an incomplete pass. Illinois is past midfield and looking to score before the half.

0:27 2nd Quarter: We've got a pulse! Corbin rushes in for an 8-yard touchdown to bring Illinois within a touchdown just before halftime. The Illini have been moving the ball in a rhythm the past two drives.

Northwestern 21, Illinois 14

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HALF: Northwestern 21, Illinois 14

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13:41 3rd Quarter: Good start for the Illinois defense to force a three and out, highlighted by a sack on third down by Gimel President. Illinois will take over near midfield.

10:14 3rd Quarter: Illinois is in the red zone but Reggie Corbin fumbles and Northwestern returns it for a touchdown. The Wildcats committed a personal foul penalty so there will be no touchdown -- fumble is under video review.

10:14 3rd Quarter: Video replay stands, so it will be Northwestern's ball. Huge missed opportunity for Illinois (Northwestern too).

9:43 3rd Quarter: Stanley Green flagged for targeting. He's ejected and will be suspended for the first half of the 2017 season opener.

9:24 3rd Quarter: How the turn tables. Justin Jackson rips off a 54-yard touchdown run and any Illinois momentum has been squashed.

Northwestern 28, Illinois 14

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6:57 3rd Quarter: On third and 8, Illinois dials up a draw play that fails spectacularly. Corbin loses nine yards to push the Illini's field goal back to a 52-yard attempt that McLaughlin pushes wide right.

4:33 3rd Quarter: Gimel President records his second sack of the day, forces a fumble and Hardy Nickerson recovers. Lunt then finds Turner on a fade route for their second touchdown connection of the game to bring Illinois within seven points once again. Wes Lunt looks sharp today, a really good outing for him pushing the ball outside the numbers to Turner and Justin Hardee.

Northwestern 28, Illinois 21

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1:32 3rd Quarter: Another critical turnover for Illinois. Darius Mosely was midway through an excellent punt return near midfield but coughs it up and Northwestern recovers, eventually punching it into the end zone. Wildcats have 21 points off three Illinois turnovers.

Northwestern 35, Illinois 21

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END OF 3RD QUARTER: Northwestern 35, Illinois 21

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9:24 4th Quarter: Lunt tosses an interception that is returned inside the Illinois 10-yard line and Justin Jackson finishes it off with his third touchdown run of the game. That should about wrap it up here.

Northwestern 42, Illinois 21

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3:23 4th Quarter: Illinois takes over after forcing a Northwestern punt. Probably the last drive of many seniors' careers on the Illinois offense.

FINAL: Northwestern 42, Illinois 21