By Kim Cerf and Samantha Vanis, Contributing Writers
Talk about a blowout! It was raining touchdowns today at Memorial Stadium and the Illini easily took down the South Dakota State Jackrabbits with a final score of 56-3. As expected, the Illini came out strong both offensively and defensively, until Senior Zach Becker went down after a first down carry. His lower leg was stabilized and he was taken to the locker room. Zook has now said that he will be out for the rest of the season, but we’re hoping for the best.
The Illini ended the first quarter with 21 points, which included Freshman Donovonn Young’s first career touchdown. He and QB Nathan Scheelhaase combined for half of the Illini’s touchdowns. The Illini defense picked off South Dakota State twice, both of which resulted in touchdowns for Illinois. The Illini rushed 364 yards and earned a total of 519 yards, while keeping the Jackrabbits at 96 total yards, proving their strength despite the loss of Detroit Lions draftee Mikel LeShoure.
The real challenge for the Illini will be next week when the Arizona State Sun Devils come to Champaign. Hopefully, the momentum from this win will propel the Illini straight into next week’s game and the Big Ten season.