Welcome to the TCR GameThread! The Fighting Illini head to Iowa City and play the Iowa Hawkeyes this afternoon, and 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.
15:00 - Illinois will receive the ball to start the game.
14:54 - Jeff George Jr. is pressured on the first play and is hit as he throws, barely getting the ball away for an incompletion. The play went under review and it was determined that George Jr. actually fumbled the ball and Iowa recovered. Not the best start for the sophomore and the Illini.
13:28 - Illinois gets the ball back as Stanley Green forces a fumble of his own, recovered by Patrick Nelson! George Jr. gets the ball back at his own 30-yard line.
9:40 - The Illini are on the move. George Jr. hit Louis Dorsey for a 40-yard gain to convert 3rd and 1 near midfield. Iowa takes a timeout ahead of Illinois' 3rd and 10 at the Hawkeyes' 11-yard line.
Jeff George Jr to Louis Dorsey pic.twitter.com/TEjwhH89CK— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) October 7, 2017
9:32 - George Jr.'s pass is incomplete, so Chase McLaughlin is called upon for a field goal, which he makes. Illinois needs touchdowns, however, after scoring a total of six points last week despite six drives entering Nebraska territory.
Illinois 3, Iowa 0
4:16 - Iowa responds with a touchdown through the air. The Hawkeyes relied heavily on their power running game to move down the field on that drive.
Iowa 7, Illinois 3
1:06 - Iowa recovers an onside kick and looked poised to score but Akrum Wadley is stuffed on fourth and 1 at the Illinois 10-yard line. Huge stop for the Illini defense.
End of 1st quarter: Iowa 7, Illinois 3
11:40 - Illinois looked as though it had taken the lead on a touchdown pass from George Jr. to Malik Turner, but the Illini had an illegal lineman downfield which negated the score. Two plays later, George Jr. is intercepted in the end zone to end the drive.
9:06 - The Illini defense bends but doesn't break, surrendering a field goal.
Iowa 10, Illinois 3
6:40 - Who said Illinois wouldn't be able to run the ball without Chayce Crouch? The Illini racked up 82 yards on the ground on that drive -- 58 from Mike Epstein on a single run -- and Ra'Von Bonner punches it in for a touchdown at the goalline. We've got a ballgame!
Rushing yards...— Illini Stats & Notes (@IlliniStats) October 7, 2017
Last two games combined: 160
First 23:20 vs. Iowa: 150
Illinois 10, Iowa 10
2:49 - The Illini have all the momentum right now after Bennett Williams snagged an interception and Illinois drove inside the Iowa 10-yard line before kicking a go-ahead field goal. Illinois needs to get into halftime with the lead, as Iowa also gets the ball after halftime.
Illinois 13, Iowa 10
0:30 - Illinois had Iowa stopped but more special teams trickery (this time, a well-executed fake punt) keeps the Hawkeyes' drive going. Iowa calls timeout at the Illinois 23.
0:08 - Iowa scores a touchdown, which especially hurts because the Illini thought they had a stop with the chance to get the ball back.
Iowa 17, Illinois 13
Halftime: Iowa 17, Illinois 13
11:33 - Both teams have drives that go nowhere since the start of the second half and Iowa takes over at its own 33-yard line.
6:40 - Another great Illinois drive ends with six points....for Iowa. George Jr. is picked off in the red zone and it's returned for a touchdown to increase the Hawkeyes' lead.
Iowa 24, Illinois 13
2:43 - Solid response for Illinois after the turnover. George Jr. found Louis Dorsey for 31 yards on third down but the drive stalls out, leading to a Chase McLaughlin field goal. Illini hanging around.
George to Dorsey another big gain pic.twitter.com/tVWr2BOkg7— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) October 7, 2017
Iowa 24, Illinois 16
Mike Epstein is out for the game with a lower body injury.— Illini Stats & Notes (@IlliniStats) October 7, 2017
End of 3rd quarter: Iowa 24, Illinois 16
14:22 - Iowa gets some insurance with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Stanley to VandeBerg to put the Hawkeyes up 15. Illinois has played well for long stretches of this game, but will need to find the end zone to close the gap.
Iowa 31, Illinois 16
11:50 - Big play forthcoming for Illinois. The Illini face a 4th and 9 from the Iowa 34. Lovie took a timeout to think about it, but have to think that Illinois will go for it.
11:45 - George fires a ball to Turner in the end zone, but he's double covered and Illinois will turn it over on downs.
8:49 - Iowa essentially seals the game with a touchdown run from Akrum Wadley, who is over 100 yards for the day.
Iowa 38, Illinois 16
3:36 - Iowa tacks on another touchdown after George Jr.'s third interception to make this really look like a blowout.
Iowa 45, Illinois 16
FINAL: Iowa 45, Illinois 16