Saturday, September 17, 2011
Illini pressure working against Osweiler
By Adam Rittenberg
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois might not be able to contain Arizona State's vertical passing attack, but the Illini are getting to quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Coordinator Vic Koenning has turned up the heat, and the blitzes are reaching their target. Illinois recorded an interception off of a deflection after linebacker Jonathan Brown nailed Osweiler on a blitz, and the Illini stopped another Sun Devils' march with a third-down blitz by Houston Bates and Michael Buchanan.
I'm guessing Illinois will get burned at some point with the blitzes, but given the issues in the secondary, this strategy seems to be the best route.
Illinois' offense, meanwhile, has looked very good aside from two giveaways, including an ill-advised throw by Nathan Scheelhaase. It marked his first interception of the season.
Illinois leads 10-7 early in the second quarter.