The Illinois Fighting Illini football program pulled out a win on Saturday over in-state foe Southern Illinois, 42-34. While this was a victory and the record currently shows 1-0, we all know and seen that Illinois has some serious flaws on both sides of the ball.
Saturday showed Illini fans and college football enthusiasts that Illinois still has a long ways to go to get back to the Rose Bowl days of the mid-2000’s. Yes, it is just one game and you can say they were just brushing off some rust, but the facts are in.
Illinois’ defense has a hole in the middle of it that a 747 airplane could land in. Southern Illinois quarterback, Kory Faulkner, had his way with the middle of the defense and you can just look at the stats to prove it.
Faulkner had a completion percentage of 62.5 along with 312 yards passing and 3 touchdowns.
These are statistics that the 2013 Heisman winner would kill for. Illinois has to tighten up the middle of their defense or they will be picked apart all year. This time it will be by a FBS team and not a FCS team. That could be ugly.
With that being said, we should look at the scores from week one that worry the Illini heading into the future.
Cincinnati 42, Purdue 7
- While the stat sheet does not show any mind blowing numbers, the score does. Purdue, who were last in the Writing Illini’s preseason Big Ten rankings, was the only team behind the Illini. The 35 point blowout is something that has to have attention paid to it or Illinois could see the same fate the Boilermakers seen this week.
- Cincinnati put up 221 yards on the ground compared to Purdue’s 65 yards. Looking at how Illinois ran the ball against Southern Illinois, this could be a big worry come Saturday.
- Illinois vs. Cincinnati –September 7, 2013 11:00 a.m. CST
Washington 38, Boise State 6
- The Washington pounding of Boise State came as a surprise to some and opened the eyes of many to the Washington quarterback, Keith Price. Price is the biggest dark horse for the Heisman race and this game against #19 Boise State showed the world why he is a contender.
- Considering how weak the Illini’s defense was in the middle of the field, this could spell bad news come game time. Price threw for 324 yards and 2 touchdowns against a Boise State team that you know came prepared in every aspect of the game. Good luck Illini.
- Illinois vs. Washington –September 14, 2013 5:00 p.m. CST
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @ReesIsMe