CHAMPAIGN, IL.– It didn’t take much for Illinois to stay perfect on the season, largely because the defense was key in the 20-7 win over Western Kentucky.
DL Bobby Roundtree after a great season opener continued to make a strong case for the best player on defense. Roundtree recorded both sacks (2) for Illinois unassisted. He added 3 total tackles as well to his day. DL Jamal Milan recovered a fumble from WKU in the 2nd quarter. LB Julian Jones returned an interception for 10 yards to the house. That was the second combined touchdown for both teams. All this proved that defense was key.
Chayce Couch had an okay day passing the ball, going 14-for-25 for 107 yards. Couch ended up being more productive running the ball. He ran 12 times for 44 yards with a rushing touchdown. Mobile quarterbacks have become more common, and Couch might be the sleeper.
The key offensive stat was how well the rushing game went. As you already read, Couch ran the ball 12 times for a touchdown but Mike Epstein completely dominated as the main rusher. Epstein received a very healthy amount of carries, 21, and rushed for 111 yards with a 5.3 average.
Kicker Chace McLaughlin went 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and 2-for-2 on extra point attempts. His longest field goal was for 37 yards. McLaughlin accounted for 8 Illinois points.
UP NEXT: Illinois takes on South Florida on the road, September 15th at 7:00 PM ET.