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Illinois scores on forced fumble in Virginia’s endzone

Special Teams U is back.

Wyoming v Illinois Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

At a time when Illinois desperately needed it, the special teams core delivered its first touchdown of the season.

After a fourth straight empty possession, a punt deep into Virginia territory resulted in a powerful hit by defensive back Sydney Brown, forcing a fumble into the endzone. Defensive back Matthew Bailey was quickest to the ball, and the Illini got a much needed first score.

The score gave the Illini a 7-3 lead midway through the first quarter, which quickly became 14-3 after Michael Marchese’s first-career TD (in his sixth season).