One week after beating a Top-25 ranked Arizona St. Sun Devils, the No. 24 Illinois Fighting Illini had trouble with the Western Michigan Broncos and needed a late field goal to secure the 23-20 victory. The win improves the Illini to 4-0 before they begin Big 10 play against Northwestern next week.
Illinois held an early 10-3 lead over Western Michigan on a Nathan Scheelhaase touchdown pass to Evan Wilson in the first quarter and a Derek Dimke 39-yard field goal in the second quarter. However, Western Michigan's Alex Carder guided the Broncos to 26-yard and 24-yard field goals by John Potter and then a 35-yard touchdown pass to Chleb Ravenell. The Broncos held the halftime lead, 13-10.
Illinois freshman running back Donovonn Young scored early in the third quarter for a 14-yard touchdown and the 17-13 lead. Derek Dimke followed with a 35-yard field goal toward the end of the quarter. But Alex Carder wasn't going to go down without a fight, as he tied the game at 20 with a seven-yard touchdown pass.
On Illinois' ensuing drive, running back Troy Pollard, who rushed for 133 yards in the game, had a 49-yard run. This eventually led to Dimke's go-ahead field goal with eight minutes left in the game. Western Michigan had two more drives, but failed on both, the last ending with the clock reaching triple zero.