The Illinois Fighting Illini edged Cincinnati by a score of 45-17 on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill., while improving to 2-0 on the season.
The story of the game, unfortunately, was a gruesome injury to Cincinnati starting quarterback Munchie Legaux in the fourth quarter. While standing in the pocket, Legaux took a low, clean hit from a lineman.
Replays showed the leg bending in a way it shouldn't, and most believe he suffered a broken leg. Legaux was immediately attended to by team trainers and was removed on a cart as players bowed their heads in prayer.
SB Nation's Cincinnati blog, Down The Drive, believes the injury could be career-ending for the senior. It is a true shame to see a player go out like that, especially when he was playing so well.
As for the game itself, a crucial turning point came early in the third quarter. The Bearcats has first-and-goal inside the five-yard line but were unable to reach the end zone. On fourth down, Legaux carried the ball left and drove for the goal line. The referees initially ruled a touchdown, but after further review, it was controversially determined he fumbled before reaching the end zone.
Illinois responded with a 12-play touchdown drive, giving the Illini a 28-10 lead, and slipping into cruise control shortly thereafter en route to the upset victory.
Box Score Hero: Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was nearly perfect on Saturday, throwing for 312 yards and four touchdowns without a turnover. The Illini also carried the ball 39 times for 210 yards and two scores.
Legaux was firing on all cylinders before going down to injury, completing 17-of-31 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball 11 teams for a team-high 52 yards.
Rankings Ramifications: Illinois would need some teams ranked in the 16-25 range to lose. If enough do, there's a chance the Illini make an appearance near the top 25 next week.
But Did They Cover? Cincinnati opened the week as 10-point favorites. They did not cover.
For More On This Game:
For more on Bearcats football, visit Cincinnati community Down The Drive.
Next Week's Schedule:
Illinois: 9/14, No. 20 Washington, 6 p.m. ET
Cincinnati: 9/14, Northwestern State, 7 p.m. ET