2. What in the world is Illinois doing throwing the ball 34 times in the first half? Yeah, we get it, head coach Bill Cubit and his right-hand man, son Ryan, like to pitch it all over the lot. But, guys, the passing game is never going to be an issue, it seems, with this club, especially with gifted QB Wes Lunt at the helm. The running game is another story. Only 20 carries by the break for a measly 58 yards. Not good.
3. Through 90 minutes of action, including last week’s 52-3 mauling, the Illini D has stolen the show thus far. Oh, the offense, obviously, has been impressive, what with 298 yards already this afternoon and Lunt completing 25 of 34 passing attempts for 240 yards. But the D has been even better, as evidenced by the 45 yards of total offense for Western Illinois in the first two quarters on 26 snaps.
4. Is it me, or does Josh Ferguson seem to take an awful lot of unnecessary punishment? Lunt, all too often, hangs out his cat-quick RB to dry on screen passes, and, frankly, Ferguson has gotten so in love with his spin move that he opens himself to big hits. He was in the midst of a series of them late in the second and got drilled from behind. A couple plays later he came limping off the field. Ugh.
5. The blue jerseys, along with the white lids and pants, are insanely SWEET. Long-awaited and much-anticipated, they give the Illini a tough, sharp look to use at home. Much better, in my opinion, than the white-orange-white that gained so much Memorial Stadium favor last season. I still think the orange-blue-orange is the team’s best (albeit unused since the 2014 rebranding) look. But most combos work.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org