How did the Huskers possibly lose after being in control for most of the game? On the plus side, the offense woke up after a sleepy game against South Alabama. Other than a few fumbles, this was more like the Adrian Martinez we were all waiting for, with 290 yards and two scores through the air, to go along with 66 rushing yards and two touchdowns. However, the running game still isn’t up to par – it got stuffed and it stalled way too often.
The O line couldn’t keep the Buffs out of the backfield. Colorado came up with six sacks – including a big one in overtime – but Maurice Washington still found a little room to move with 77 yards rushing and 118 yards with a 75-yard score receiving. The attack went dark for a bit, but …
This is on the defensive meltdown in the fourth quarter. The Huskers couldn’t stop the great Colorado receivers, couldn’t generate a key stop, and they looked a bit gassed – welcome to Boulder. This showed how far the team still has to go – it needs more guys. It needs more defensive playmakers.
It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but it’s a non-conference road win – that just doesn’t happen on a regular basis for Illinois. It took a while to wake up, and then it all worked with a 24-point second quarter to all but put the game away. However …
The offensive line needs to generate more of a push for the ground game. Jakari Norwood led the way with 62 yards, and almost all of them came on one play. The Illini averaged fewer than four yards per carry, but the O was saved by Brandon Peters, who threw for 227 yards and four scores.
It was sloppy. There were three turnovers, nine penalties, and a rough start that made the team have to push a bit. Even so, with Eastern Michigan up next before Nebraska comes to Champaign, it’s a win to put on the pile. However, this same performance won’t be good enough to get by EMU.
Jack Tuttle struggled. The other two IU quarterbacks were fantastic, with Peyton Ramsey hitting 13-of-14 passes for 226 yards and two scores, and Michael Penix throwing for 197 yards and two scores. They were taking target practice, partly because they had all the time in the world to work.
Stevie Scott ran for a team-high 61 yards and a score, and then didn’t need to do anything else. This was a game to get the backups involved – the Hoosiers had this in the bag by the end of the first quarter.
The defense wasn’t going to be pushed too much, but it still did what it was supposed to do. EIU got nothing out of any phase, it couldn’t move the chains, and it couldn’t handle the Hoosier defensive front. This is as tuned as the team can be before hosting Ohio State next week.