It was another letdown from the Illini as the Washington Huskies won 44-19, and were leading 35-5 in the first half. I think the worst part for me was all the defensive touchdowns they scored. It felt like we would make a turnover and a lane would be right there for Shaq Thompson to return it to the house. The defense didn't end up playing that bad, but the touchdowns their defense scored hurt us a lot.
We also really got down on ourselves pretty early. The defense made a 4th down stop and the refs gave a very generous spot. They ended up scoring, but we managed to go right down the field on them only to get a bank shot field goal from Taylor Zalewski. Then they get a long TD pass and it's already 14-3. We make a bad turnover it's 21-3 and the game is already over. Another Lunt turnover and a Washington offensive touchdown would have the Huskies leading 35-5, with the game well out of reach.
So then what's the positive out of this? The Big Ten is absolutely terrible and we might not be the worst of it. Let's take a look at what Big Ten teams did yesterday:
Bowling Green 45 Indiana 42
Indiana couldn't stop a team that lost to a team we beat. Unfortunately, we don't get to play them this year.
West Virginia 40 Maryland 37
I don't know if this one looks that bad, but Maryland was on its home turf here.
Ohio State 66 Kent State 0
Ohio State finally got a good win but is it for real?
Michigan 34 Miami Ohio 10
I think Michigan's offense is pretty terrible and they only managed to put up 34 on Miami Ohio. If you're Michigan and you have a struggling offense you should go out and hire the best OC in the country. They didn't do that.
Iowa State 20 Iowa 17
I said it all preseason: Iowa is way overrated and I don't understand why. They just lost to a team that was 0-2 in their home stadium. Not to mention it was a rivalry game.
TCU 30 Minnesota 7
We didn’t suck this much! RT @EyeOnCFB: FINAL: TCU 30 Minnesota 7— The Champaign Room (@Champaign_Room) September 13, 2014
No, we didn't.
Notre Dame 30 Purdue 14
For the second year in a row Purdue didn't play that bad against ND. They lost by two touchdowns in the end though. Expect them to go back to sucking.
Penn State 13 Rutgers 10
The great Christian Hackenberg didn't play that great and was barely able to help Penn State eek out a win. These two teams didn't actually look that bad.
Nebraska 55 Fresno State 19
The team that barely beat McNeese State came out with a win against Fresno. 19 points to Fresno, though?
After the Big Ten's terrible day I realized something that's good for us, but also kind of sad; Washington might be our toughest game of the season. If we were able to do some things against them, then maybe the Big Ten season won't be that bad after all. Everyone is pretty negative (as they should be) right now, but at least we didn't lose to our 0-2 rivals.
Ohio State might not be as good as Washington. A team that is probably 4th or 5th best in the Pac 12 could be the best team in the Big Ten West and 2nd in the conference. OSU just lost to a Va Tech team who turned around and lost to East Carolina.
The Illini have a chance here--they could finally capture some Big Ten wins and stability.