2. Maybe it’s time the Illini made senior Josh Ferguson a situational back. He takes too many big hits for a guy his size to be the feature ballcarrier, especially when the team has a couple of rock-solid newcomers in Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Henry Enyenihi in the fold. Ferguson is too valuable, too explosive and, frankly, too small to be put in the line of fire so much. Sure, start him if you must for that initial spark, but then get him out and spot him the rest of the way. He’s arguably the best receiver on the team, too, so he doesn’t have to be reinserted at RB. He could slide outside a lot.
3. Still not sure if Geronimo Allison is a potential star or just a tease. He’s played well thus far. In fact, he was exceptional against the Leathernecks, hauling in 8 aerials from Lunt for 124 yards. For the season, he has 10 catches for 181 yards and a score. Thing is, he’s shown this before and then kinda faded into the background, probably a bit more than you’d accept from a No. 1 WR. Granted, Mikey Dudek’s fantastic freshman season probably cut into G-Mo’s output in 2014. So, maybe he really is the real deal. Standing 6-4 with good hands and speed, he certainly has the attributes to be.
4. Though it wasn’t quite as dominate after intermission, the Illini D impressed all afternoon on Saturday before a sparse, but not ridiculously sparse, Memorial Stadium crowd. All told, it surrendered just 141 yards of total offense, with only 45 of it coming in the first half. Taylor Barton, apparently, hasn’t been affected by the switch to SS, either, as he recorded his second and third INTs of the young season. About the only area of concern is that the Illini are not getting to opposing QB, which just 1 sack total in 2 games.
5. Criticism, pro or con, legit or not, aside, there is no denying one thing: despite the upheaval a week before the season started, the Illini have come ready to play right out of the chute under interim head coach Bill Cubit. It also is apparent Tim Beckman was not the failure on the recruiting front that many claimed him to be as the fruits of his labor there are being realized, albeit enjoyed by others. Cubit is a likeable, old-school kinda guy who may be proving he’s the right man for the permanent job in short order.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org