First glance: Illinois Fighting Illini
Coach: Tim Beckman.
Coaching record: 8-20 in third season at Illinois; 29-34 overall in seven seasons.
Record: The Illini are 2-0 after Saturday’s comeback 42-34 victory over Western Kentucky. (Video highlights above.)
Early line: Huskies are a 14.5-point favorite.
Star players: Illini sophomore quarterback Wes Lunt was named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week after the win over WKU. He posted the second-most passing yards in Memorial Stadium history – six shy of the record – and fourth-most in UI history, completing 35 of 50 passes for a personal-best 456 yards and three touchdowns with only one interception. Lunt transferred from Oklahoma State where he started five games as a true freshman. He sat out last season and emerged from a three-way quarterback battle in fall camp. After two starts, Lunt has passed for 741 yards and seven touchdowns, both school records in the first two starts of a quarterback’s career. He ranks fifth in FBS in passing yards per game (370.5 ypg) and passing touchdowns (seven), and seventh in total offense (361.5 ypg) and completions per game (29.5). … Lunt doesn’t have a favorite receiver, however, Geronimo Allison and Malik Turner lead the team with 10 receptions. Allison, a 6-4, 195-pound junior who played at Iowa Western Community College last season, also has a team-high 140 yards. … True freshman Mike Dudek became the first Illini newcomer to tally a touchdown reception in each of his first two career games since 2003. The 5-11 and 185-pound standout was named the Big Ten freshman of the week after making four catches for 55 yards, including a score. … Sophomore free safety Taylor Barton returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown last week. He has the only interception for Illinois this season and has a team-high tying 21 tackles. … Junior linebacker Mason Monheim, who had 12 tackles against Washington last year, also has 21 this season for Illinois. … Cornerback V’Angelo Bentley handles punt and kickoff returns and he’s explosive. He averages 105 all-purpose yards, including a 67-yard kickoff return.
By the numbers:
615 – Yards by Washington last year during its 34-24 win over Illinois at Soldier Field.
61.0 — Success rate on third down (17 of 28) for Illinois, which ranks ninth nationally.
21 — Number of points Illinois has scored in the fourth quarter in two games to mount come-from-behind victories. The Illini trailed Youngstown State 9-7 before scoring three unanswered touchdown for a 28-17 win in the opener. Last week, Illinois trailed Western Kentucky 27-21 at the start of the fourth. Illinois is outscoring opponents 42-15 in the fourth quarter.
2 – Sacks by Illinois opponents.