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Illinois Defense Faces Potentially Stiff Test Against Fresno State
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) _ There may not be much on the line Saturday when Illinois closes its season against Fresno State, but the Illini defense could be in for a test.

Bulldog coach Pat Hill says running back Ryan Mathews is back from a concussion. Mathews leads the Western Athletic Conference with almost 1,500 yards rushing. He also has 14 touchdowns.

Fresno State also has quarterback Ryan Colburn. He's completed almost 60 percent of his passes for 2,150 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Illinois' defense is a big reason the Illini are 3-8.

The defense gives up more than 250 passing yards a game. That's last in the Big Ten. And the Illini allow almost 150 yards rushing a game, which is eighth in the conference.

Illinois may have a little extra home field edge, though. Saturday's temperature isn't expected to climb out of the 30s.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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