Quick hits: Illinois' 54-35 blowout loss at Nebraska leaves future dim

Quick hits: Illinois' 54-35 blowout loss at Nebraska leaves future dim

What happened

Despite quarterback AJ Bush Jr.'s heroics (three touchdowns, 187 yards on the ground), Illinois couldn't keep up with Nebraska, which won for just the third time this season. Five Illini turnovers, including two muffed punts, put the defense in bad positions repeatedly, and the result was Illinois' fifth loss by 20 or more points this season.

What it means

Illinois still hasn't won back-to-back Big Ten games in the Lovie Smith era. In fact, you have to go back to the 2014 season to find the last time it happened. Those wins against Penn State and Northwestern put the Illini in their last bowl game. To get back to the postseason, Illinois needs to close with wins against Iowa and Northwestern.

What's next

Senior Day at Memorial Stadium. It's a small class playing at home for the final time, led by co-captains Nick Allegretti and Del'Shawn Phillips. The opponent won't be feeling like celebrating. Iowa thought it would be playing for the Big Ten West title, but got knocked out by losses to Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.

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