Illinois' Brown keying defensive effort
In Illinois' case, linebacker Jonathan Brown is doing it all in a huge performance against Arizona State. Brown has played a role in both Illini takeaways, causing the first one with his hit on Sun Devils QB Brock Osweiler and corralling an Osweiler pass for an interception to stop a lengthy drive.
The sophomore also has played a big role in Illinois' aggressive blitzing packages. He has been in Osweiler's face multiple times tonight.
Still, Illinois must find a better way to get off of the field as Arizona State continues to convert third-and-long situations.
We're in a defensive struggle here. Who would have seen that coming?
Illinois still leads 10-7 midway through the third quarter.
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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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