Illinois Fighting Illini
Now is the time for Illinois to prove itself.
Illinois’ 35-18 loss dropped it to 6-7 on the year.
The Illini (6-0) visit the 15th-ranked Miami Hurricanes (7-0) on Tuesday.
A different scene took place two years ago at Ryan Field.
Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas has a big decision awaiting this weekend.
Backup quarterback Reilly O’Toole led Illinois on a late drive that set up a game-winning David Reisner field goal, delivering a 16-14 win over Penn State on Saturday.
John Groce’s third year in Champaign comes with higher expectations.
While Illinois hung 114 points on Coppin State Sunday, coach John Groce didn’t want to talk about the offense.
The games will be played at the 7,700-seat Prairie Capital Convention Center.
Purdue gashed Illinois for 349 yards rushing and first-time starting quarterback Austin Appleby threw for a touchdown and ran for two more to lead Purdue to a 38-27 upset Saturday at Illinois.
There are no Illinois teams in the NCAA Tournament, but there are plenty of Illinois products.
Had John Groce gone to his bench earlier in the season, the Illini might be in the NCAA Tournament.
The Illini’s poor start in conference play is all too familiar.
Illinois owned the lead at halftime Wednesday, and they owned an edge on the boards over Purdue that helped the Illini get there. All that changed over the next 20 minutes.
Tre Demps scored 11 points and made three late 3-pointers to lead Northwestern to a 49-43 upset of in-state rival No. 23 Illinois on Sunday night.
Ben Brust scored 18 points, Sam Dekker added 17 and No. 4 Wisconsin used a 20-0 run in the first half to easily beat No. 23 Illinois 95-70 on Wednesday night.
Rayvonte Rice scored 15 points to lead four Illinois players in double figures as the Illini defeated Penn State 75-55 on Saturday.
Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns and Christian Jones caught 13 balls for 182 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Wildcats past Illinois 37-34 Saturday in the finale for both teams.
Steve Hull caught a career-high 10 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns to help Illinois defeat Purdue 20-16 on Saturday afternoon.
It’s a big weekend for second-year head coach John Groce.