Illini Rally From Early Deficit To Turn Away Florida Atlantic

By IlliniGuys Staff

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Isaiah Williams tallied a career high-tying 120 yards and Luke Altmyer bounced back with his best game as a collegian as Illinois defeated Florida Atlantic 23-17 Saturday afternoon in front of 53,512 at Memorial Stadium.

Illinois (2-2, 0-1) spotted the Owls an early 10-0 lead, then scored 23 unanswered points and racked up 510 yards on offense to finish off their non-conference slate with a victory.

Florida Atlantic (1-3) made it closer than many expected.  The Owls were without starting quarterback Casey Thompson, who suffered a season-ending torn ACL last week.  But his replacement Daniel Richardson kept them in the game, hitting BJ Alexander with a touchdown strike late in the fourth quarter.  But Illinois was able to run out the clock.

The win also erased the frustration from last week, when they surrendered five turnovers to 7th ranked Penn State, leading to 20 points in a 30-13 loss.

Altmyer threw four interceptions in that game, but shook it off to go 25-of-36 for 303 yards with no interceptions and a touchdown to tight end Griffin Moore.  The sophomore transfer added a rushing score as well.

Williams caught eight passes for 120 yards to tie his personal mark for most yards in a game, set last January in the RealQuest Bowl against Mississippi State.

Illinois now prepares for its first Big Ten road game of the season with a trip to Purdue and head coach Ryan Walters, who spent the past two seasons in Champaign as the Illini defensive coordinator.  That's a 2:30pm CT kickoff that will be streamed on Peacock.

Stay with IlliniGuys.com for complete postgame coverage from Memorial Stadium.

 

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