2. The 2013 Illini should not be confused with the 2012 Illini.
When the Illini began their drive with 3:32 left in the 3rd quarter down 31-10 they were at a tipping point. In 2012, this game most likely would have ended somewhere in the 55-13 range as those Illini would have packed it in and played out the remainder of the game simply because they had time left on the clock.
Thankfully, this isn’t the case in 2013. These Illini are certainly a different breed.
Instead of rolling over and playing dead, Illinois answered their largest deficit of the game with a 72 yard Scheelhaase to Lankford touchdown pass that took all of 16 seconds.
Then the defense came alive, stopping the Huskies on 2 consecutive drives, which allowed the offense to score an Aaron Bailey 10 yard rushing TD that was aided during the drive by a 35 yard HB option pass from Miles Osei to Matt Lacosse.
Coming off a 2-10 season that saw the Illini show less fight than their moniker intends, it was definitely a welcomed sight to see this year’s squad stay competitive in a game that looked very bleak in the 3rd quarter.
It’s also nice to see them get credited for their competitiveness rather than their dysfunction, as was the case many times last season, by the national media as well.
Sunday Ruminations #ILLINI – Most improved team in B1G from a year ago. Was not a smooth transition from RZ to TB but now its done
— Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) September 15, 2013