UI 50, Miami 14: A-minus for Illini

UI 50, Miami 14: A-minus for Illini

 

Staff writer Bob Asmussen's take on Saturday's game:

Player of the game

Nathan Scheelhaase

Five touchdowns in 1 1/2 quarters. That will do. Actually, the senior could have had seven scoring plays. The rough day against Washington seemed like weeks ago.

Offense

Illinois A, Miami D

Illini went over 600 yards for the first time in almost six years. And it wasn’t just Scheelhaase. The runners helped with 289 yards on the ground. If this team wants to win consistently, offensive balance is a key. It got plenty of it on Saturday, albeit against a winless, inferior team.

Defense

Illinois B, Miami F

Sure, there were some misses. Bound to happen in a blowout game. But when the game was close, Tim Banks’ bunch stood tall. Jonathan Brown just missed double digits (nine) in tackles. Next time.

Special teams

Illinois B-/ Miami C

Coaches love when the punter sits. Like Justin DuVernois got to.  But missed field goals are going to cost the Illini in the future and the coaches will have to look to Ryan Frain as an option.

Overall

Illinois A-, Miami D

Who had 3-1 in the preseason pool? But the competition turns nastier in the coming weeks with back-to-back games against Nebraska and Wisconsin. Three more wins and Illinois makes its third bowl trip in four years. That’s got to count for something.

Not much to whine about. Unless you object to lots of points and perfect weather. It was more dominating than the win against Cincinnati, but the quality of the opponent has to be considered. A great way to enter the Big Ten part of the season.

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