Illini Nation can take a collective sigh of relief after the Illinois Fighting Illini were able to dismantle the Miami (OH) RedHawks, 50-14. Illinois looked like the team from weeks one and two and not like the team that played Washington in Chicago.
Nathan Scheelhaase was the catalyst for the Illini offense in this game. He threw for 278 yards and scored five passing touchdowns (career high). His only blemish was an interception that he threw in the first quarter of the game.
Scheelhaase was pulled late in the game after it was officially out of reach. Reilly O’Toole came in and threw for 31 yards but ran for 29 yards.
The running backs were also able to get going to the Fighting Illini against Miami (OH). Josh Ferguson was Scheelhaase’s main receiver coming out of the backfield. He caught five passes for 77 yards and scored a huge receiving touchdown. On top of being a receiver, Ferguson also ran for 71 yards on eight carries.
The leading rushing for the Illini on Saturday was Donovonn Young. On only eleven carries, Young was able to run for 80 yards.
Illinois also had a third back break it with the run game as redshirt freshman Devin Church scored his first career touchdown in the second half.
Defensively, the Illini did exactly what they needed to do. Despite giving up 14 points, Jonathan Brown and Mason Monheim was able to help Illinois force the RedHawks to become pretty one dimensional as they abandoned the run game early.
The only time Illinois say problem was when Miami (OH) went back to the pass game late in the game.
Illinois gets set to start off Big ten conference play next week as they travel to Lincoln, Nebraska for a showdown with the Cornhuskers. Illinois is a completely different team then the last time these teams met and the Illini are looking to kick a Nebraska team while they are down.
Nebraska had a bye this week and will most likely have a quarterback battle between Taylor Martinez and Tommy Armstrong Jr.
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