Sports

Illini look fine, say ‘GG’ to ‘Huskers


Illinois linebacker Tarique Barnes (44) celebrates with teammates after he intercepted a pass.

Illinois linebacker Tarique Barnes (44) celebrates with teammates after he intercepted a pass.
Image: (AP)

Illinois hasn’t had a lot to smile about, football-wise, this season. Or most seasons, really.

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This is the Illini’s fifth season with Lovie Smith as their coach, and they’ve been to one bowl game, which they lost last year to finish 6-7. Illinois hasn’t won a bowl since 2011 under Ron Zook, and hasn’t had a winning record in the Big Ten since 2007.

On Saturday, though, Illinois went to Nebraska and blew the Cornhuskers’ doors off, 41-23, behind the combined efforts of Mike Epstein and Chase Brown, who ran for a combined 223 yards and three touchdowns.

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Illinois also had a delightful fake punt early in the second half, which maintained possession at a point when Nebraska, getting the ball back down 28-10, might have had a chance to turn the game around.

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So, being very sportsmanlike, Illinois said “good game” to Nebraska and thanked the university for its key role in making Big Ten football happen this year.

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Isn’t that nice?


The start of East Carolina-Temple was delayed because, according to Brett McMurphy of Stadium, an Owls player’s girlfriend tested positive for coronavirus, and the player had to go get a rapid test himself. That player tested positive, so he didn’t play, and neither did some of his close contacts on the team.

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Since East Carolina was there anyway, they went ahead and played, because what’s a little COVID risk among friends, right? The Pirates won, 28-3, so they can take that with them into quarantine?


The Clemson-Florida State game being scrubbed meant that Florida-Vanderbilt moved onto ABC, a rare national television appearance for the winless Commodores. They led the No. 6 team after a quarter, and covered the spread.

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The actual score? Eh, you don’t really need to know that, do you?

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