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 Illini football, visit Illinois community Hail To The Orange, plus Big Ten community Off Tackle Empire.
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
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