2010 Illinois Fighting Illini football team

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2010 Illinois Fighting Illini football
Fighting Illini logo.svg
Texas Bowl Champions
Texas Bowl vs. Baylor, W 38–14
Conference Big Ten Conference
2010 record 7–6 (4–4 Big Ten)
Head coach Ron Zook
Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino
Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning
MVP Mikel Leshoure
Captain Jeff Allen
Captain Corey Liuget
Captain Eddie McGee
Captain Martez Wilson
Home stadium Memorial Stadium
(Capacity: 62,870)
Seasons
« 2009 2011 »
2010 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#7 Wisconsin §   7 1         11 2  
#5 Ohio State   0* 1         0* 1  
#14 Michigan State §   7 1         11 2  
Iowa   4 4         8 5  
Illinois   4 4         7 6  
Penn State   0* 4         0* 6  
Michigan   3 5         7 6  
Northwestern   3 5         7 6  
Purdue   2 6         4 8  
Minnesota   2 6         3 9  
Indiana   1 7         5 7  
† – BCS representative as champion
‡ – BCS at-large representative
§ – Conference co-champions
  • *All wins for Ohio State (12-1, 7-1) and Penn State (7-6, 4-4) in the 2010 season are vacated
    As of January 11, 2011; Rankings from AP Poll[1][2]

The 2010 Illinois Fighting Illini football team represented the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Fighting Illini, led by sixth-year head coach Ron Zook, are members of the Big Ten Conference and played their home games at Memorial Stadium. They finished the season 7–6, 4–4 in Big Ten play and were intited to the Texas Bowl where they defeated Baylor 38–14.

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent Site TV Result Attendance
September 4 11:30 AM vs. Missouri* Edward Jones DomeSt. Louis, MO (Arch Rivalry) FSN L 13–23   58,060[3]
September 11 6:30 PM Southern Illinois* Memorial StadiumChampaign, IL BTN W 35–3   52,217[4]
September 18 11:00 AM Northern Illinois* Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL BTN W 28–22   50,569[5]
October 2 11:00 AM #2 Ohio State Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL (Illibuck) BTN L 13–24   62,870[6]
October 9 11:00 AM at Penn State Beaver StadiumUniversity Park, PA ESPN2 W 33–13   107,638[7]
October 16 11:00 AM at #11 Michigan State Spartan StadiumEast Lansing, MI BTN L 6–26   74,441[8]
October 23 11:00 AM Indianadagger Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL BTN W 43–13   53,550[9]
October 30 11:00 AM Purdue Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL (Purdue Cannon) ESPN2 W 44–10   50,371[10]
November 6 11:00 AM at Michigan Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI ESPN L 65–67 3OT  111,441[11]
November 13 11:00 AM Minnesota Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL BTN L 34–38   55,549[12]
November 20 2:30 PM at #25 Northwestern Wrigley FieldChicago, IL (Land of Lincoln Trophy) ESPNU W 48–27   41,058[13]
December 3 9:15 PM at Fresno State* Bulldog StadiumFresno, CA ESPN2 L 23–25   30,625[14]
December 29 5:00 PM vs. Baylor* Reliant StadiumHouston, TX (Texas Bowl) ESPN W 38–14   68,211[15]
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches Poll released prior to game. All times are in Central Time[16].

Penn State[edit]

Game 5 marked the second Big Ten Conference game for Illinois, and pitted them against Penn State. The previous week, Illinois had suffered a tough loss at home against Ohio State, and many expected the Illini's next game at Penn State to end up in a loss due to the Fighting Illini's history versus the Nitanny Lions. Illinois came into the game sporting an abysmal 3–14 (.214 W pct.) career standing against the Nittany Lions. The Illini also came into the game with the dubious distinction of having never secured a victory at Beaver Stadium in State College. History wasn't on the Illini's side, but this was a different team.

In addition to the Illini's poor historical performance against the Nittany Lions, the Illini faced another disadvantage as the game at Penn State was to take place on Homecoming weekend. The faithful Penn State alumni would be flocking toward Beaver Stadium in hopes of a rousing Homecoming victory for their beloved team, and a sellout was all but assured as soon as the schedule was printed. The last time Illinois had played at Penn State was in 2008 and the game was a racous event. Penn State was labeling the nationally televised sellout game as a "White-Out" in revenge for the Illini's shocking upset victory at home against Penn State in the 2007 season that ultimately culminated in a Rose Bowl berth for the Illini. The stage was too much for the Illini in the "White-Out" game, and #22 Illinois fell to #12 Penn State 24–38. All of these factors were to be disadvantages for Illinois, but the Illini came in as a battled tested group that hung in with Missouri and Ohio State and was eager to secure their first big victory of the season.

The game was a shocking success for the Illini as they went on to crush Penn State 33–13. The Illini looked great in nearly all phases of the game playing steady offense, turnover defense, and a special trick play TD pass from running back Jason Ford to tight end Evan Wilson. This performance helped the Illini overcome shoddy punt returning, as Jack Ramsey fumbled 3 punts on the day. Shocking the Nittany Lions at home on Homecoming weekend went on to inspire the Illini, who went on to secure a Texas Bowl berth and win to cap off a successful 7–6 season, when most analysts picked the Illini to finish at the bottom of the Big Ten and go bowl-less for a third consecutive year.


Northwestern[edit]

Illinois at Northwestern
1 2 3 4 Total
Illinois 21 6 7 14 48
Northwestern 14 10 0 3 27


References[edit]

  1. ^ 2010 Big Ten football standings
  2. ^ 2010 college football rankings
  3. ^ "Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Missouri Tigers Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Southern Illinois Salukis vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan State Spartans Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Indiana Hoosiers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Purdue Boilermakers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan Wolverines Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Northwestern Wildcats Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Fresno State Bulldogs Box Score". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  15. ^ http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=303630239
  16. ^ http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/m-footbl/sched/ill-m-footbl-sched.html