Oct. 16, 2010
1. The Illini continued their red zone success on offense. Illinois converted two of its three chances in the red zone to scores (two field goals) and is now 18-for-19 this season in red zone scoring, which ranks among the national leaders.
2. The Illini was stout for much of today's game, holding Michigan State's vaunted rushing attack to only 93 yards on 31 carries, an average of 3.0 yards per carry. That is far short of MSU's season averages of 225.0 rushing yards per game and 5.8 yards per carry. In addition, MSU entered today's game averaging a whopping 473.2 yards per game in 2010 but the Illini defense limited them to just 294 yards, the first time the Spartans have been held under 350 yards this year.
3. Illinois also won the first downs and time of possession battle, topping MSU 21-16 in first downs and 32:16-27:44 in time of possession.
4. The Illini defense also stiffened in the red zone for much of the game, holding MSU to field goals on 2-of-3 red zone chances. The most notable was a third-quarter possession in which the Spartans got the ball on the Illinois 16 yard line after an interception but lost one yard on the drive and were forced to kick a field goal.
1. Senior wide receiver Chris James made his first catch of the season, a 12-yard reception for a first down in the first quarter.
2. Two Illini saw their first action of 2010: junior fullback/tight end Zach Becker and freshman receiver Spencer Harris. Harris' debut makes him the 18th Illinois player to see the field for the first time in 2010 and the eighth true-freshman.
3. Defensive tackle Corey Liuget shined in today's game, racking up a career-high 11 tackles, one TFL and a career-best two QB hurries. Fellow defensive tackle Akeem Spence also notched a career-best two TFLs and the first QB hurry of his career.
4. Defensive end Michael Buchanan recorded his first sack of 2010 when he brought down MSU's Kurt Cousins in the first quarter. Cornerback Terry Hawthorne also recorded his first TFL of the season when he tackled MSU's LeVeon Bell behind the line in the fourth quarter.
5. Kicker Derek Dimke continued a strong 2010 season, going 2-for-2 on field goals and booting three kickoffs for an average of 60.7 yards with two touchbacks. He now has 13 touchbacks this season, a career high for a season.