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Daily Digest | Mocs a dangerous FCS draw for Illini?; B1G West woes continue – 247Sports


There’s a lot of news each day. Illini Inquirer will try to make it easier to digest each weekday morning with the Daily Digest.


Miss any of the Big Ten football action during the Illini’s off weekend? We got you covered with a rapid recap.

No. 22 Penn State 41, Auburn 12: Freshman running back Nicholas Singleton ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries and fellow freshman Kaytron Allen added 52 yards and two touchdowns to lead Penn State (3-0) to a statement road victory at Auburn (2-1). The PSU defense also forced four turnovers and held Auburn star Tank Bigsby to just 39 rushing yards on nine carries.

Washington 39, No. 11 Michigan State 28: Former Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. shredded his former Big Ten foe, passing for 397 yards and four touchdowns to lead Washington (3-0) to a home win over Michigan State (2-1), which rushed for just 42 yards against the Huskies. Payton Thorne led MSU with 323 yards and three touchdowns, and Illinois transfer Daniel Barker had seven receptions for 69 yards.


No. 6 Oklahoma 49, Nebraska 14: Firing Scott Frost did not immediately fix the Cornhuskers (1-3), who allowed 580 yards of offense to the Sooners (3-0). Oklahoma scored 49 straight points against NU interim head coach Mickey Joseph’s squad, led by 285 total yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Dillon Gabriel. Nebraska has now lost 19 straight against Top 25 teams and nine straight against FBS teams.

Syracuse 32, Purdue 29: Garrett Schrader threw a 25-yard touchdown pass with seven seconds left in a frantic fourth quarter — which included a combined 42 of the game’s 61 points — as Syracuse (3-0) knocked off Purdue (1-2). Aidan O’Connell passed for 424 yards and three touchdowns but threw a costly interception that was returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Purdue wideout Charlie Jones shined with 11 receptions for 188 yards and a touchdown.

Southern Illinois 31, Northwestern 24: The Salukis (1-2) beat a Big Ten opponent for just the second time in ittheir s history as it had a 4-1 turnover advantage over the Wildcats (1-2), who were led by 157 total yards by running back Evan Hull.
No. 4 Michigan 59, UConn 0: Blake Corum tied a school record with five touchdown runs on just 12 carries (for 71 yards), and J.J. McCarthy passed for 214 yards in his second start for the Wolverines (3-0), who have outscored their three non-conference opponents by a total of 166-17.

No. 3 Ohio State 77, Toledo 21: C.J. Stroud passed for 367 yards and five touchdowns and freshman Dallan Hayden ran for 108 yards and a touchdown to lead the rout for Ohio State, which totaled 763 yards of offense.

Indiana 33, Western Kentucky 30 OT: Indiana (3-0) again needed a late rally and overtime to knock off Western Kentucky. The Hoosiers — who have come from behind in the second half in all three wins this season (Illinois, Idaho and WKU) — were led by Connor Bazelak, who passed for 364 yards and two touchdowns.
Rutgers 16, Temple 14: Greg Schiano became Rutgers’ all-time winningest coach (80 wins) as the Scarlet Knights improved to 3-0 for a second straight season in a defensive battle. Rutgers did not score an offensive touchdown but Shaquan Loyal returned an interception for a touchdown and Rutgers made three field goals.

Minnesota 49, Colorado 7: Minnesota still hasn’t been tested after three games as it crushed Colorado on Saturday behind a big day from Mohamed Ibrahim (202 rushing yards, 3 TDs). The Gophers (3-0) limited Colorado (0-3) to 227 total yards.

Wisconsin 66, New Mexico State 7: Graham Mertz passed for 251 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 pass attempts and Braelon Allen ran for three touchdowns as the Badgers (3-0) easily dispatched NMSU (0-4).
Iowa 27, Nevada 0: The Hawkeyes allowed just 151 yards to Nevada (2-2) in a game that was delayed nearly four hours due to inclement weather, while Kaleb Johnson (103 rushing yards, 2 TDs) paced Iowa to its best but still modest offensive output of the season.

Maryland 34, SMU 27: Maryland outscored SMU 14-0 in the fourth quarter for a big non-conference victory for the Terrapins (3-0). Roman Hemby ran for 151 yards and a touchdown, while Taulia Tagovailoa passed for 214 yards and two touchdowns.

B1G teams in AP Top 25

This week’s B1G games

Illinois has never lost to an FCS opponent in 17 meetings but should still take one seriously, especially after last weekend’s results. Northwestern lost to a previously 0-2 Southern Illinois team 31-24 on Saturday, and No. 10 Arkansas trailed in the fourth quarter of a 38-27 win over Missouri State.

Chattanooga is equipped to challenge the Illini for Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The Mocs (3-0) are ranked in the top-10 of the FCS coaches poll and have outscored their three opponents 110-34 so far this season.

Mocs to watch

Illinois coach Bret Bielema said of the Mocs: “They have really good players. They have an offensive lineman that could start anywhere. They have a defensive tackle that could start anywhere. It doesn’t matter. Both of them will play in the NFL. They have a running back that I think is really talented. They have a lot of good players around him. They’re very well-coached. Coach has done a really good job of getting those guys to play very hard, very fast and very productive players, really offense, defense and special teams. They’re taking advantage of the portal world too. They took Kentucky last year, who’s a really good team, to the fourth quarter.
“They’re a very talented football team and one we’ve got to prepare our tails off because I know they’re coming over here with the idea of one thing, that’s making history for themselves.”

A key: The Mocs will have a quick turnaround, playing at Illinois just five days after defeating North Alabama 41-14, while Illinois will have had 12 days since its last game, a 24-3 rout of Virginia.

Arizona State has fired coach Herm Edwards amid NCAA troubles and a 1-2 start to the season, the school confirmed following Chris Karpman of 247Sports affiliate SunDevilSource’s report. The Sun Devils lost 30-21 to Eastern Michigan at home on Saturday in what turned out to be Edwards’ last game at the helm.
Why it matters: Edwards is the second power-five coach fired this season, following Nebraska’s Scott Frost. Edwards leaves Tempe with a winning record (26-20, 17-14 Pac-12) and three bowl appearances, but his program has been in turmoil during the last year following allegations of hosting recruits on campus during NCAA-mandated recruiting restrictions due to COVID-19 in 2020. Several coaches and players left the program during the last year, including quarterback Jayden Daniels, who now starts at LSU.
Other coaches on the hot seat?
No. 25-ranked Illinois volleyball lost two matches on Saturday, falling to .500 on the young season.

Why it matters: Illinois seems likely to fall out of the rankings and has struggled with a non-conference schedule that included 10 straight matches on the road.

What’s next: Illinois begins Big Ten play with its home opener at 8 p.m. CT Friday against Maryland (9-3).


No. 11-ranked Illinois men’s golf finished tied for second at the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invite during the weekend at Olympia Fields Country Course. Illinois tied with Florida at 3-over par, 12 strokes behind tournament champion Stanford.

Why it matters: The OFCC/Fighting Illini Invite is a loaded field with 11 of 15 teams either ranked or receiving votes in the preseason coaches poll, including No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 Florida, No. 5 Arizona State, No. 7 Oklahoma State, No. 9 Texas, No. 10 Pepperdine, No. 15 Stanford, No. 18 Florida State and No. 25 Arizona.

Illinois coach Mike Small said: “It’s a tough finish to a solid tournament. To come in and finish second in this field is a solid week. But we were really in position to win this thing and I think we lost our momentum yesterday afternoon. The way we finished yesterday, giving up eight or nine shots to fall behind, was a big deficit to overcome. We cut into it, and had the lead with nine holes to go; we were playing pretty well, but the same thing happened as yesterday and we just couldn’t close it out.
“We got beat at our own game this week. We pride ourselves on playing solid golf and not making unforced errors, and Stanford did that today. Us and Arizona State faltered toward the end, and the tough golf course got us. We need to figure out, individually and as a team, how we can sustain ourselves through some adversity, through some nervousness, and close out these tournaments.”

What it means: The Illini are a national contender again, thanks in large part to Dumont de Chassart (one of the best players in the country) and Kuhl, who were phenomenal this week. But the Illini — who again are the class of the Big Ten — will need more consistency from the back end of their rotation to truly challenge for a national title.

What’s next: Illinois plays at the Folds of Honor Collegiate at American Dunes Golf Club in Grand Haven (Mich.) on Sept. 26-28. The tournament is hosted by Michigan State, which lost the Big Ten Championship to Illinois last season by just one stroke.

Illini individual scores
Illinois soccer lost 3-0 to Michigan State in its Big Ten opener on Sunday at Demirjian Park. The Spartans (6-1-2) scored all of their goals against the Illini (5-3-1) after halftime. Illini goalkeeper Julia Cili had seven saves on the match, but the Illini failed to score on 12 shots (four on goal).

Illini coach Janet Rayfield said: “It’s a different game [Big Ten matches]. Everything we’ve done all season long has to step up a level. We’re capable of much better than we showed today.”

What’s next: After a five-match homestand, the Illini hit the road for the East Coast as they play at Maryland at 6 p.m. CT Thursday and then at Penn State at 11 a.m. Sunday.


Prayers for my people in PR????????

Have a great weekend! Seeing the Valpo football team on my plane back from Boston reminded me of the difference between the realities of Big Ten and FCS teams…
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Anand works as a work from home journalist based in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. Anand had contributed content for various websites and also worked as a chief technical editor for ASPAlliance.com. He also contributed content for several print magazines like DevPro (formerly asp.netPRO) and his headshot appeared on the front page of the July 2006 issue of the magazine.