Nebraska 54, Illinois 35
What Happened: Neither defense did much of anything, for most of the first half, and the Illinois started turning the ball over and didn’t stop. The Huskers took advantage an pulled away, getting three touchdown passes and a scoring run from Adrian Martinez onto way to a 47-21 lead.
Illinois made it interesting for the first half with three AJ Bush touchdown runs, but the mistakes were too much to overcome, giving the ball away five times.
What Mattered: The defenses were a problem. Nebraska finished with 606 yards of total offense, and Illinois ran for 383 yards and finished with 509 yards.
– Martinez went off. He completed 24-of-34 passes for 290 yards and three scores with a pick, and he ran 13 times for 55 yards and a touchdowns. Devine Ozigbo took off for 162 yards and three touchdowns – two on home runs – on just 11 carries.
– AJ Bush only completed 11-of-25 passes for 126 yards for the Illini, but he led the team with 187 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries. He turned it over three times.
What It All Means: That ends that. Illinois had slim bowl hopes after beating Minnesota, but now it’s ensured of a losing season. However, it can play a big role in the Big Ten West race with Iowa and Northwestern to close.
– At the very least, Nebraska’s offense is getting better, and it’s going to give the fans a whole slew of things to get fired up about going into the offseason. It gets Michigan State and Iowa to close, and it has the firepower to pull off wins in both games. But the defense, especially against the run … the offense had better be ready to roll.
NEXT: Indiana 34, Maryland 32