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10 Moments that Defined Illinois Football: Reggie Corbin Tops 1,000 Yards Rushing

The star running back was a bright spot in a mostly dark season

Illinois v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Reggie Corbin’s turnaround from last season has been nothing short of spectacular.

The junior running back bounced back from being woefully underutilized by former offensive coorindator, Garrick McGee, to being the star of the rejuvenated Illinois offense under new offensive coordinator, Rod Smith.

Corbin had plenty of highlights this season, but one of the most memorable was the moment he rushed for over 1,000 yards on the season against Nebraska, becoming the first Illini to do so since Mikel Leshoure in 2010.

The substantial improvement of the Illini offensive line, and in particular, the play of Nick Allegretti, was instrumental in Corbin’s accomplishment. Also playing a major role was quarterback AJ Bush, who successfully capitalized on Corbin’s skills out of the backfield, whether through option plays or on screen passes.

Unfortunately, the injury that Corbin sustained in the Nebraska game kept him sidelined for most of the Iowa game. He was able to finish the year on a high note with 78 yards on 13 carries in the season finale at Northwestern. The absences of Reggie Corbin’s and Mike Epstein’s play-making ability no doubt contributed to the record-setting defeat that the Hawkeyes handed the Illini in the last home game of the year.

Corbin finished the season with 1,085 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, to go along with 176 receiving yards. Among his other accolades, his four runs for 70-plus yards tied the Illini record set by Buddy Young in 1944. His 213 rushing yards against Minnesota were good for the 8th most in a single game by an Illini player.

We all wish Reggie the best as he will likely test out the NFL waters following his historic season.

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