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Illini defense dared Cincinnati to air it out

11/28/2009

Anyone who has watched Cincinnati's offense operate this season knows the Bearcats are stacked at both quarterback and wide receiver.

Cincinnati has dissected opposing secondaries all fall, regardless of whether Tony Pike or Zach Collaros was making the throws.

That's why it seemed odd to see this quote from Illinois co-defensive coordinator Dan Disch following Friday's 49-36 loss to No. 5 Cincinnati. Pike returned to the field and threw for 399 yards and a school-record six touchdowns against Illinois, while Cincinnati barely tried to run the ball.

"You go into a game trying to make them pass," Illinois defensive coordinator Dan Disch said. "That may be a mistake against them. We gave up too many big plays."

Yep, big mistake. I wasn't the only one taken aback by the strategy.