Connecticut wide receiver Ardell Brown (83) is stopped by Illinois defensive back Nate Hobbs (8) and Illinois defensive back Stanley Green (7) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in East Hartford, Conn.

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Saturday’s win might have been a little light on style points for the Illini — save for the post-touchdown excessive celebration penalties — but a nonconference road win for this team is a serious accomplishment.


Illinois is 2-0. A third of the way to bowl eligibility. But there were enough mistakes against UConn that would have been more of an issue, say, once Big Ten play starts. Stacking wins only gets tougher as the season progresses.


Maybe the $10 deal for Horseshoe tickets bumps up the Memorial Stadium crowd when Illinois returns home to face Eastern Michigan next Saturday. Going unbeaten in nonconference play is almost a necessity for the Illini.

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).