Illinois, ASU offenses flex muscles early
After Illinois forced a three-and-out on the game's first possession, both offenses have looked crisp on touchdown drives. Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase showcased his speed on a short scoring march, while his Arizona State counterpart Brock Osweiler found huge gaps in the Illinois secondary to even the score at 7-7.
The safety position is a liability for Illinois, and it showed as Osweiler converted two third-and-long situations to wide-open receivers, the second a 21-yard touchdown strike to Gerell Robinson. Illinois needs to keep a safety back or Osweiler will have a field day.
Arizona State, meanwhile, must show it can handle Illinois' speed on offense.
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Powers is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997. He joined ESPNChicago in May 2009 and lives in Chicago.
Rittenberg joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four years at the Daily Herald, where he covered sports at Notre Dame, Northwestern, DePaul and several other colleges. He lives in Chicago and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Bennett joined ESPN.com in August 2008 after nine years at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., where he covered college sports and the University of Louisville beat. He lives in Louisville and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Fortuna joined ESPN.com in 2011 after working for MLB.com and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he covered college sports. He grew up in New York and is a Penn State graduate. Fortuna's Notre Dame blog is here.
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