Northwestern wanted to bolster its chances for a big-time bowl game. The Wildcats did that and more. Venric Mark rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown as Northwestern beat Illinois 50-14 on Saturday.
Two years ago, Nathan Scheelhaase was soaring. These days, though, the guy’s just sore.
It’s been a year since Illinois wandered, stunned, through a six-game losing streak that seemed like it might never end. Tim Beckman was hired as head coach to see to it that the Illini didn’t pile up losses like that again.
Denard Robinson threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores, leading No. 25 Michigan in a 45-0 win over Illinois on Saturday.
Joel Stave threw two touchdown passes and Wisconsin’s running game showed signs of life as the Badgers defeated Illinois 31-14 on Saturday.
Illinois had been waiting almost three weeks for injured quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to play again.
Reilly O’Toole threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns and receiver Ryan Lankford had 97 yards and two scores to lead Illinois to a 44-0 win Saturday over Charleston Southern.
Illinois missed starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, to be sure. But he doesn’t play defense, and that was the area where the Illini struggled mightily against Arizona State.
Terry Hawthorne returned an interception 39 yards for Illinois’ first touchdown late in the third quarter and the Illini snapped a six-game losing streak by beating UCLA 20-14 in the Fight Hunger Bowl.
MarQueis Gray rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns and threw for another score, guiding Minnesota past backsliding Illinois 27-7 on Saturday in the season finale and sending the Fighting Illini to their sixth straight defeat.
By halftime Michigan had eight times as many yards as Illinois. Deep into the second half the Wolverine defense still hadn’t let the Illini cross midfield.
Illinois rolled through its first six games with big plays, comebacks and happy endings, landing a spot in the Top 25 with a perfect start.
Daniel Herron hadn’t played a down of football since the Sugar Bowl because of NCAA suspensions but ran for 114 yards and a touchdown in his return Saturday as Ohio State upset No. 16 Illinois, 17-7.
Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase and A.J. Jenkins made Indiana pay for its mistakes Saturday.
Considering that the University of Illinois hasn’t started out even 4-0 in a football season since the fall of 1951 – back when Dick Butkus was merely the meanest 8-year-old in Chicago – the message a friend of mine posted last Sunday on my Facebook did read a bit outrageous.
Illinois sacked Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler six times and turned one into a touchdown in a 17-14 win over the No. 22 Sun Devils on Saturday night.
Freshman running back Donovonn Young introduced himself to Illinois fans with a pair of touchdowns and Nathan Scheelhaase ran for two more on Saturday in a 56-3 blowout over South Dakota State.
Baffled was again how I found myself last Saturday when Illinois’ seventh-year head coach opted to burn highly touted freshman quarterback Reilly O’Toole’s redshirt eligibility – by playing him for three meaningless snaps in the fourth quarter of a season opener vs. Arkansas State.
Big Ten coaches voted to eliminate the annual preseason media poll and instead have instituted a much less exciting “Players To Watch List”.
Winning a bowl game like the Texas Bowl may not be that big of a deal to many who follow college football, but for the University of Illinois fans and Ron Zook, they will gladly take it.
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