South Florida vs Illinois : The Illinois Fighting Illini travels to the southeast as they take on the South Florida Bulls Friday night. Illinois knocked off Western Kentucky 20-7 at home Saturday to remain unbeaten on the year. Get a summary of the South Florida Bulls vs. Illinois Fighting Illini football game.
NCAA College Football
South Florida vs Illinois
Date : Saturday, 15 September
It’s a non-conference tilt between the Big Ten and the AAC down in what likely will be a waterlogged Sunshine State. The Illinois Fighting Illini travels to the southeast as they take on the South Florida Bulls Friday night. Illinois knocked off Western Kentucky 20-7 at home Saturday to remain unbeaten on the year. South Florida had their game at Connecticut canceled due to the threat of Hurricane Irma. This marks the first time that the two programs have met on the gridiron as FBS programs.
Illinois shut down what is normally a high octane Western Kentucky offense to improve to 2-0 on the season. The Fighting Illini had a narrow 300-244 advantage in total yards, won the first down battle 19-14 and dominated the time of possession battle by a 37:54 to 22:06 margin. Illinois forced a pair of turnovers while committing only one: a 10-yard interception return by Julian Jones was arguably the biggest play of the first half. That was the game’s first touchdown and gave the Fighting Illini a 13-0 advantage with 1:21 to play in the opening half.
The Fighting Illini enters this game 120th in the FBS in passing offense with 126 yards per game and 90th in rushing offense by averaging 132 yards per contest. Illinois is tied for 100th in the FBS in scoring offense by averaging 22 points a game while ranking 28th in scoring defense as they allow 14 points per game. Chayce Crouch is 24 of 44 for 252 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions while adding 46 yards plus a score on the ground.
Freshman Mike Epstein leads the team on the ground with 32 carries for 165 yards and two scores while Kendrick Foster is next in line with 11 carries for 26 yards. Mike Dudek leads the team with eight receptions for 83 yards and a score. Malik Turner (seven catches, 70 yards) is the only other player with more than two catches for Illinois. Chase McLaughlin has hit all three extra points and three of four field goal attempts with a long of 40 yards.
South Florida didn’t play this past week thanks to Hurricane Irma and they’ll look to get back to work. The Bulls were flat against Stony Brook, trailing 10-7 at the half before outscoring the Seawolves 24-7 in the second half. South Florida scored the final 14 points in the game to break a 17-17 tie in the fourth quarter. The Bulls held a 339-229 advantage in total yards and a 21-14 advantage in first downs. South Florida forced a pair of turnovers while committing one. They lost the time of possession battle by a 32:21 to 27:39 margin in the contest.
The Bulls are 83rd in the nation in passing offense as they average 209.5 yards per game through the air: they stand 30th in the FBS in rushing with 234 yards per game. South Florida is tied for 43rd in scoring offense as they average 36.5 points per game and is 50th in scoring defense as they give up 19.5 points per game. Quinton Flowers is 30 of 55 for 398 yards through the air with four touchdowns and one interception while adding 137 yards plus a score on the ground.
Brett Kean is two of four for 21 yards. Darius Tice leads the team with 36 carries for 151 yards plus three scores while D’Ernest Johnson contributes 35 carries for 114 yards plus two touchdowns. Marquez Valdes-Scantling leads the team with 10 catches for 106 yards and a score while Darnell Solomon is next in line with five grabs for 59 yards and a touchdown. Emilio Nadelman has booted all 10 extra point attempts and hit his lone field goal attempt from 33 yards.