Saturday, November 07, 2009

Where Has That Been?

That looked more like the offense we expected all season. Once again, the Illini marched down the field immediately to take the lead. And when Juice Williams went down with an ankle injury on a fumble later in the first quarter, redshirt freshman Jacob Charest lived up to expectations. He kept the Illini moving down the field, and added a TD pass.

And the defense...Terry Hawthorne, welcome to Big Ten football. The freshman from East St. Louis followed up his performance last week with a beautiful pick-6 from Gophers QB Adam Weber. And as a whole, the D sacked Weber 7 times for a total loss of 50 yards. Plus, they held strong once again to hold Minnesota to a field goal after a goal-line stand.

The blocked punt for a TD was scary, but the Illini came back nicely to score once more. Yes, the final score shows how effectively the Golden Gophers came back late in the game, but we'll take the Big Ten win on the road.

It would have been nice to see this team a bit sooner this year, but I'd rather have a few games to enjoy than none at all. Yes, it's been a rough season for Tim Brewster and his Gophers, as well, and the Iowa loss to Northwestern doesn't do much for the Big Ten rep. But a win is way more fun than a loss. And a win on the road bodes well for the future, especially after the free-fall that was the first half of the season.

Great game, boys! Go Illini!

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