Most Nebraska fans probably had tonight’s game against Illinois penciled in as a win. The Fighting Illini are coming off of a loss against Eastern Michigan, while Nebraska handled its MAC opponent, Northern Illinois.
You might not know it by how this game began. Illinois jumped out to a 14-0 lead, and led 21-7 early in the second quarter, after taking advantage of a Nebraska fumble deep in its own territory.
The Huskers responded with a touchdown from Adrian Martinez to Wan’Dale Robinson. Still, Scott Frost’s team has an uphill battle here in the second half.
ESPN’s Football Power Index has reevaluated things after a half. The model gave Nebraska a better-than 74-percent chance to win entering the game.
Now? Illinois has a 61.7-percent shot, per FPI.
Illinois has ran the ball very well thus far. Reggie Corbin opened scoring with a 66-yard touchdown. He has 91 yards on 10 carries.
Adrian Martinez has led the way on the other side, throwing for 167 yards and two touchdowns, one to Robinson and one to Jack Stoll.
Maurice Washington, who left the game briefly with injury, has 89 yards on 10 carries.
This would be a statement win for Lovie Smith, whose program has to be desperate for one after the EMU loss. It would also open up the mostly-lingering questions about Frost’s somewhat slow start at his alma mater Nebraska, after a 4-8 2018 season.