Scott Richey's grades: Indiana 24, Illinois 14

Scott Richey's grades: Indiana 24, Illinois 14

Player of the game: Indiana defensive tackle Jacob Robinson

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound junior was the leader of the Indiana defense that made Illinois quarterback Jeff George Jr.'s life miserable. Robinson sacked George twice (two of eight for the game), and also forced a George fumble.

Offense

Illinois: D-

Indiana: C-

First, the positives. Freshmen Louis Dorsey and Ricky Smalling are legitimate threats in the passing game for the Illini. But too many turnovers (three) and too many stalled drives (11 punts) furthered Illinois' offensive struggles.

Defense

Illinois: D+

Indiana: C+

The Hoosiers weren't exactly running wild offensively — nine punts plus a Richard Lagow interception — but the Illini gave up a far-too-easy touchdown with 5:45 left to play that made it a two-score game.

Special teams

Illinois: B+

Indiana: B-

Blake Hayes wasn't perfect, but when you punt 11 times in one game a couple are bound to be clunkers. The Aussie freshman remains a weapon for Illinois, but one the Illini have to call on far too often.

Coaching

Illinois: F

Indiana: C

The Illini coaches are playing the cards they're dealt with an inexperienced roster riddled by injuries. But having to burn a timeout late in the second half in a close game with 12 men on the field for a punt return? Can't have that.

Overall

Illinois: D

Indiana: C

Eight straight losses and a trip to Columbus, Ohio, coming up next week. Not a good sign for the Illini's chances to snap their growing losing streak. This isn't 2007. An upset at the Horseshoe seems unlikely.

Comments

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jjohnson wrote on November 13, 2017 at 6:11 pm

You're a fine writer, Scott, but these grades are silly. The defense deserves no worse than a "C"; it kept the team in the game. Special teams (though it is a coaching issue) deserve no better than a "C."