How good is Illinois? I'm not sure we know yet, even as the Illini improved to 6-0 on Saturday. We know a few things, however:
They can take care of business against an overmatched opponent, as they did in the 41-20 win over Indiana.
The offense can put up plays and points quickly when it's clicking, as it did while outscoring the Hoosiers 30-3 after falling behind 10-0 early. The Nathan Scheelhaase-A.J. Jenkins duo is as good as it gets in the Big Ten right now. They rolled up over 500 yards of offense, including more than 300 on the ground.
They can win on the road, although Indiana might have the worst home-field advantage in the league. Still, it was the first game away from Champaign this season for Illinois.
Ron Zook's team didn't play a perfect game by any measure, and its mistakes would likely have been much costlier against a better team on the road. But 6-0 is 6-0, and with a struggling Ohio State team coming to Champaign next week followed by a trip to Purdue, the Illini have a chance to be 8-0 and put some pressure on Wisconsin in the Leaders Division.
For Indiana, it was another loss. But the Hoosiers got off to a good start and showed some fight, slicing the lead to 34-20 late. They may have also found their quarterback of the future, as true freshman Tre Roberson completed 11 of 17 passes for 148 yards. Roberson still has a lot to learn but is athletic and gives the offense a dual-threat weapon. Head coach Kevin Wilson will now have to decide whether to play Roberson more or go with Dusty Kiel or Ed Wright-Baker, who are just sophomores themselves.