In case you missed the Illinois Fighting Illini’s 50-14 win over Miami (OH) yesterday, it can be summed up in four words. Nathan Scheelhaase is good. The senior quarterback shredded the RedHawks for 278 yards passing and five touchdowns through the air.
Granted the RedHawks are now 0-4 on the season, but Illinois found a ground game in the process of their blowout win on Saturday. Seven rushers accounted for 289 yards on the ground, something that should concern Nebraska. We knew that Illinois could sling the football around the field, but a potential rushing attack could really complicate the gameplan for the Blackshirts.
The Fighting Illini have already passed last years win total of two games. They are a team that is growing more confident each week. It is, remember, the same team that played very well against a good Washington Huskies squad.
Husker fans should hope that Bo Pelini and defensive coordinator John Papuchis took plenty of notes yesterday. They will have a lot of looks to watch out for with Illinois. Their offense is multiple and they do a lot of things well. They will test a Nebraska Cornhusker defense that has struggled against the run and with the spread.
One encouraging thing for Nebraska is that Miami was able to run on the Illini. They finished with 155 yards on the ground, something that the Huskers should be able to double with the stable of backs they possess. Ameer Abdullah, Imani Cross, and Terrell Newby should be able to slip through Illinois defenders and help keep the Illini offense off of the field in the process.
Practice should be interesting this week for Nebraska as they figure out how to tackle Illinois, both literally and figuratively.