Not many in school history can say they had as impressive of a game on the ground as junior Reggie Corbin did Saturday, but he’ll tell you it doesn’t phase him.
“I didn’t know I had that many yards, or that many carries,” he said. “I never really care for stuff like that, as long as I play hard... I just gotta keep getting better. I probably should have broke that tackle at the end.”
But the truth is, Corbin’s performance was one of the best of any running back to play at Illinois ever. On 13 attempts, Corbin rushed for a career-high 213 yards — the eighth-highest single-game total in school history.
“All we have to do is give him a little bit of time,” said senior Nick Allegretti. “He’s pretty talented. It’s fun blocking for him. It’s an absolute blast, and I love him. I was giving him a hard time. I’m pretty sure if he doesn’t get ankle tackled on that one, he would’ve passed 1,000 [rushing yards on the season]. We gave him a little bit of a hard time there, but he had an awesome game. I love Reggie so I’m super happy for him.”
Corbin gives all credit to his front line, though.
“They get better every week,” Corbin said. “The same five guys come to work every single day. It’s amazing to see how much better they’ve gotten. They’re so durable. They never get tired... I’m really proud of them.”
Illinois’ 646 total yards of offense are the program’s most in over a decade, and 430 rushing yards are good enough for eighth all-time in school history. It was a historic day for both the team and Corbin, who has 952 yards and nine touchdown in nine games this season.
“Reggie Corbin has played that way just about every game,” said head coach Lovie Smith. “He can make you miss, and he is a weapon in the open field running through tackles.”
Corbin will get another chance to make history next Saturday when Illinois plays Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are giving up over 165 yards per game on the ground, and the offense looks like it’s starting to click.
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