4. Illinois freshmen had a big game
Usually, teams can look at freshmen, see them make a decent play, and say that the future is bright. For the Illinois football program, the future is now.
The Illini freshmen were huge in the win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday. There were freshmen contributing in every facet of the game.
I would say the star freshman on the day was defensive back Zachary Tobe. Florida Atlantic saw him in the game, and they tried to pick on him. Tobe didn’t have any of it, though. He shut down the Owls passing game all game long. Tobe finished with three tackles and a team-high three pass deflections.
James Kreutz also saw some action on defense. He came in at linebacker and finished the game with three tackles. Saboor Karriem got in the game and had a tackle and tied Tobe for three pass deflections as well.
Offensively, Kenari Wilcher had a nice jet sweep for six yards. The Illinois running back room looked good too.
Aidan Laughery had his first touchdown run on a 19-yard scamper. He finished the game with three carries for 23 yards and a score. Kaden Feagin ended up sealing the game for the Illini. Bret Bielema trusted a true freshman enough with the game on the line to get a first down. He ended up sliding short of the end zone so the Illini could run out the clock.
Illinois has some impressive freshmen who came up big for the program against Florida Atlantic. The future is now for these young stars.