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Illinois Finds Finishing Form vs Badgers

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Illinois Finds Finishing Form vs Badgers

The Illinois team all smiles.

The University of Illinois struggled to finish scoring opportunities against Purdue last week, but found the tryline this week against Wisconsin.

The previous week Illinois manufactured 15 linebreaks but walked away with only three tries.The clear focus for the training week was finishing. Illinois got an early opportunity to settle the nerves with a second-minute penalty. Fifth-year fullback, Brennan Vaught, slotted the 40-meter kick to get the Illini on the scoreboard.

Three minutes later, Illinois created an overload. Senior Louie Chrisos, put his center partner Junior Brandon Hamilton away on the edge for a five-pointer.

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Illinois struggled to secure the ensuing restart giving Wisconsin possession and territory. Badgers No. 8 Luke Dietz went over and wing Mason Buttner converted to make it 8-7 Illinois.

But for the remainder of the first half, Illinois found space and turned it into tries, scoring three more tries and a penalty goal to lead 32-7 at halftime.

Illinois continued to have the run of play in the second half. Junior wing DJ Griffin struck for two quick scores in the 42nd and 47th minutes. Some ill discipline from Illinois gave Wisconsin another try-scoring opportunity in the 50th minute. The Badgers did well to convert the opportunity through prop Titus Henkels. But Illinois would have the final say with a 63rd minute try through senior hooker Jake Wolf, and then a penalty try with three minutes to go.

Illinois looked much improved when it came to finishing their opportunities.

“We kept our composure in broken play this week and it showed in the final result," said Illinois captain Louie Chrisos. "I’m really happy with how we grew in training this week. We’re excited to take this momentum to Indiana next week.”

Wisconsin showed tremendous improvement in defense over the 80 minutes. They found structure and applied significantly more pressure through line speed in the second half. They continue to take forward steps.

Illinois 56
Tries: Dellamano, Griffin 2, Hamilton, Kang, Lyons, Wilf, Penatly Try
Convs: Vaught 4
Pens: Vaught 2

Wisconsin 12
Tries: Dietz, Henkels
Convs: Buttner 

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