It wasn't easy for Illinois to get to 5-0 on the season, but a 21-point fourth quarter propelled the Fighting Illini to a 38-35 win against Northwestern to begin October. Are we going to have to get used to Ron Zook's team as a Big Ten contender?
Nathan Scheelhaase was 21-of-32 for 391 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He was also the Illini's leading rusher, though that wasn't particularly hard to do -- Scheelhaase gained just 35 yards on the ground and ran for another touchdown. The star on the receiving end of most of those passes was A.J. Jenkins, who had 12 catches for 268 yards and the three touchdowns.
Despite Dan Persa's injury, he was the only quarterback to attempt a pass for the Wildcats until the final desperation drive, going 11-of-15 for 137 yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunately for Northwestern, it wasn't enough. Giving up almost 475 yards to the other team tends to do that.
For more on this game from the Illini perspective, check out Illinois blog Hail To The Orange. Wilcats fans should head over to Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple.