- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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Football dynamic duos normally consist of a quarterback and a wide receiver; two running backs or maybe even a pair of defensive backs.
Illinois possesses a unique duo. The Illini are powered by the legs of junior kicker Derek Dimke and senior punter Anthony Santella.
Dimke and Santella have proven to be two of the best at their respective positions in 2010, and they continued to show that in Illinois’ 33-13 upset win at Penn State on Saturday.
Dimke was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals and 3-for-3 on extra points against the Nittany Lions. He connected on field goals of 31, 37, 41 and 50 yards.
For the season, he’s 10-of-11 on field goals and 12-of-12 on extra points. His long field goal for the season was a 52-yarder against Missouri, and his only miss was a 41-yard attempt against Ohio State.
Dimke should be among the nation’s leaders in field goals after his performance on Saturday. Two kickers, one of them being Penn State’s Colin Wagner, were tied for first with 11 field goals heading into the week. Wagner hit two against Illinois.
Santella entered Saturday ranked fourth in the country in punting with a 48.3 average. On Saturday, his averaged dropped to 47.8 yards, but that was due to a situational punt. He would have stayed right on his average with his two 48-yard punts on Saturday, but he also had a 39-yarder that landed on Penn State’s 10-yard line. All three of Santella’s punts were to the Nittany Lions’ 20 or better.
Santella has had nine punts of 50 or more yards this season, has placed seven of his 24 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and has four touchbacks.