On Saturday, Northwestern and Illinois are playing football at Wrigley Field. Judging from the halftime score, though, one would be forgiven for assuming that the two teams are playing basketball.
At the half, Illinois leads Northwestern, 27-24 after a wild thirty minutes. The big story is the show put on thus far by Illini running back Mikel LeShoure, who has already taken the ball 18 times for 208 yards. (The NCAA's single-game rushing record, in case you're curious, was set in 1996, when some fellow named LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 406 yards against UTEP.)
In fact, including quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase's 75 rushing yards and Jason Ford's 20, Illinois has a somewhat unbelievable 303 rushing yards at halftime. Luckily for Northwestern, the Illinois passing attack has been worse than ineffective, as they've thrown for two interceptions and only 16 yards in nine passing attempts.
Northwestern has also preferred to keep the ball on the ground. While quarterback Evan Watkins, filling in for the sorely-missed Dan Persa, is 4-for-9 with 72 yards passing, running back Mike Trumpy has 97 rushing yards at the half.
This has been a wild affair from the start, with multiple plays busting out for at least 70 yards, five turnovers, and a fumbled-and-recovered punt return that went almost all the way to the end zone. Here's hoping the second half is just as entertaining.