The Illinois Preview led off with the following:
Run Offense vs Illinois
Illinois appears to have a for-real defense this year after bringing in Vic Koenning, an established collegiate defensive coordinator with a recent history of success at Clemson and Kansas State. The three years before his hire, Koenning's Ds were 9th, 18th, and 39th in total defense, with that last stop a one-off year at Kansas State where he took the Wildcat D up from 117th. Ahem.
Illinois has been shutting down guys on the strength of a good defensive line (one that features MGoSouldongmate Corey Liuget) and the emergence of Martez Wilson (right) into something resembling the uber-hyped recruit he was. Wilson's by far Illinois's leading tackler with 68; he's second to Liuget in TFLs and sacks. Against the Big Ten:
In my opinion, this is the danger of relying too much on statistics. Penn State was pre-bye week and in the midst of a populating a MASH unit, Sparty was suffering from a post-Michigan hangover (especially those arrested for DUIs) and Inidana's running game hasn't been the same since Darius (what you talkin' bout ) Willis got injured.
Mad props to the O-line and the running backs, who both came up huge today.