Nebraska Preview: Cornhuskers at IL

Annette Crawford
September 30, 2017

"I think that when a guy wants to make a play, and frankly when we are not doing as well as we want to, then you tend to force things. It should make you feel really bad".

IL will open Big Ten play, and the university's first Hall of Fame class, including Dick Butkus, will be honored before the induction ceremony the following day. With Stanley Green already serving a suspension in the first half for a targeting infraction two weeks ago in the South Florida game, the secondary for Illini became very thin.

Nebraska is now 12-2 under Riley when leading at the half.

Nebraska still on top 7-3.

Rosier didn't have an incomplete pass until well into the second quarter as part of a hot start and wound up finishing with 270 yards, two touchdowns and an interception to go with another 45 yards and a score rushing. IL drove 45 yards and had first-and-goal for the second time.

As for the Blue Devils, they were on the verge of getting right back into things several times throughout the game but never could turn the corner.

Smith said the Illini are "not a passing team".

IL played conservatively with Crouch, letting him run the ball 18 times for 37 yards.

IL fell to 2-1 on the season a few weeks back with a 47-23 loss at South Florida. This is a game that will set the tone for the rest of the 2017 campaign.


Now the Illini have Nebraska at home.

After stopping IL in NU territory to force a punt, Nebraska pushed its lead to 21-3 by moving it 89 yards on nine plays and eating up 5:02 off the clock before Lee hit tight end Tyler Hoppes for a six-yard scoring pass with 1:23 left in the half.

Nebraska (3-2, 2-0) was the team with the balance IL hoped to discover and the Huskers used it to claim a 28-6 victory at Memorial Stadium.

Nebraska returned the favor with a costly pass interference penalty on a third-down incompletion, and the Illini capitalized by marching 64 yards on 15 plays and scoring on a 25-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin to start the second quarter. That left IL with third-stringer Julian Hylton for the first half.

Smith said the Illini should feel discouraged based on the performance against Nebraska.

None of that mattered one bit when Friday night's game kicked off, however, as the Huskers dominated every aspect of the game from the opening play on en route to a 28-6 victory.

So let the quarterback controversy gain even more traction. "I don't think any of that was said or has been said or anything like that". He let two almost slip away misjudging them before recovering the ball.

"We didn't get anything going tonight", coach Lovie Smith said. "He didn't catch the ball well". Nebraska hasn't looked great on offense, averaging 30.5 points and 378.5 yards per game this season while allowing 29 points and 367.5 yards per contest on defense. He hit wide-open targets but also made some throws up narrow seams in the IL defense and into tight spots over the middle. "You can't lead with your head". We did that. Simple as that.

" Lost starter: On Nebraska's third offensive play of the game, defensive back Bennett Williams was ejected for targeting after a big hit on Hoppes". "It hurts to get the loss, but we know we can bounce next week (at Iowa)".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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