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WKU vs. Illinois Recap: Wes Lunt, Illinois Prove Too Much for Hilltoppers

Western Kentucky falls 42-34 to the Fighting Illini in an exciting, but flawed contest.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois notched a big win Saturday, as the Big Ten program came from behind to beat Western Kentucky 42-34.

Illinois sophomore quarterback Wes Lunt torched the young Hilltopper defense for 456 yards and three touchdowns, in a track-meet contest that saw runs of 17-0, 14-0, 10-0 and 14-0.

After a shaky start that included WKU's punter muffing the snap, WKU managed to take a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. But Lunt responded, connecting on a six yard touchdown to Geronimo Allison to put Illinois ahead 17-14.

In the second half, the Hilltopper defense fell apart, giving up 28 points. Lunt had all day to throw the ball, as WKU's pass rush was unable to reach him but for a few rare instances. If not for a 95-yard fumble return from DB Wonderful Terry, the outcome could have been worse.

I pointed out in my preview of today's game that I thought WKU could come away with a win, assuming the offense didn't fall apart and the defense could make some stops. Well both of those scenarios occurred. The Western Kentucky offense was out-gained for most of the contest, and had their fair share of chances to win the game; most notably down eight points and possession with around four minutes left in the game (which resulted in a Doughty fumble).

The Hilltoppers will travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to take on the Blue Raiders next week; and well, who knows what to expect from the Hilltoppers.