Kind of a mixed feeling coming out of this last weekend. An encouraging offensive start for the Illini basketball team. Another discouraging offensive outing for the football team.
And both performances involved the number "3".
The Illini basketball team hit ten "3's" in the first half alone...on their way to a total of thirteen "3's" for the night on Friday in their season-opening win over Colgate. The season high last year was 11 made "3's" made in a single game. It was the most "3's" in a ball game for Illinois since they hit thirteen of them against Iowa on December 29, 2010 in the Big Ten opener that season. The Illini dont want to have to depend on the "3" that much.....but it was nice to see.
Meanwhile...across Kirby Avenue on Saturday....the Illini football team marched right down the field against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on its opening position....helped out by a 48-yard flea-flicker from Donovonn Young to Nathan Scheelhaase to Spencer Harris and eventually wound up 2nd -and -goal at the Gopher 1-yard line. The Illini failed on the next two plays to punch it into the endzone...and had to settle for "3". Those first-quarter points were the only points the Illini would score all afternoon in a 17-3 loss to the now-bowl-bound Gophers.
In basketball....making "3's can help your score add up quickly. In football....in the red zone...they are nice....but generally not enough to win. When you only get one of them.....you dont give yourself a chance.
The date of the Iowa basketball game I referred to above was the same day that the Illini football team was rolling to a 38-14 victory over RG III and the Baylor Bears down in Houston, Texas.
In that ball game.....tailback Mikel Leshoure scored.......that's right......"3" touchdowns.