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GameThread: Illinois vs. Murray State

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The Fighting Illini begin their 2016 season on Saturday afternoon.

Welcome to the TCR GameThread! Scroll down to the comments section to discuss Illinois vs. Wisconsin with TCR's writers as well as other members of the community. This space will operate as a live blog in future weeks and, though we're slightly understaffed today, we hope to provide some light commentary today as well.

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We don't take things all that seriously around here, and you probably shouldn't either. That being said, just because we don't take things seriously, that doesn't mean you can say whatever the hell you want. No hate speak. Not toward any fellow commenters or anybody in general. We're all here to have fun and enjoy the game.

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

Go Illini!

2:43 PM: The second defensive play from scrimmage in the Lovie Smith era is an interception by Julian Hylton at the Murray State 37!

2:49 PM: Touchdown Fighting Illini! Wes Lunt to Malik Turner for 5 yards on 3rd and goal. Virtually uncontested. The running game struggled in the early downs, but Lunt has hit every pass so far.

2:57 PM: Another interception for the Fighting Illini as Taylor Barton gets a ponderously-thrown lame duck right to him. Murray State has yet to cross the 50.

3:01 PM: Malik Turner torches the secondary for a 68 yard touchdown, his second of the first quarter. Crowd erupts into a "Lovie! Lovie!' chant.

3:41 PM: Ke'Shawn Vaughn scampers up the middle for a short touchdown, set up by Justin Hardee's 31-yard reception. Hardee's reception was as long as Murray State's entire offensive output so far. 9:36 remain in the first half

3:52 PM: A 50-yard Murray State field goal never has a chance, falling short and wide right. Illinois preserves the 21-0 shutout.

3:57 PM: Kendrick Foster darts outside for a 56-yard touchdown! We're 4/4 on extra points and 4:26 remains in the first half

4;13 PM: After allowing a field goal for their first points allowed of the year, the Fighting Illini respond with another 56-yard touchdown run by Kendrick Foster. Chase McLaughlin remains perfect on extra points. 35-3 with 26 seconds to go in the half

4:16 PM: Illinois heads into halftime with a 35-3 point lead. This ain't bad.

4:56 PM: On 4th and 3 at the Murray State 30, Illinois goes for it and scores a touchdown on a sideline pass to Desmond Cain. Lunt's 3rd TD of the game puts the Illini up 42-3 with 5:53 left in the 3rd quarter.