4. Illinois couldn’t get Cal to screw up
Illinois was able to beat Wisconsin thanks to two late takeaways.
It was able to get by Michigan State by forcing four turnovers, and generated two or more takeaways in nine of its first ten games.
It only came up with one against Iowa, and lost. It only came up with one against Northwestern, and lost. For the first time all season long, the D failed to come up with a takeaway, and it lost to Cal.
The Illini D wasn’t bad, but it struggled to come up with enough third down stops, it didn’t force enough big stops, and as a team, the ten penalties hurt.
Give credit, though, to Cal for taking care of the ball, because …