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Saturday, September 10, 2011
Illinois dominating on both sides

By Adam Rittenberg

Much like Michigan State, Illinois has replaced a slow start in Week 1 with a dominant one in Week 2.

Ron Zook's squad is eviscerating South Dakota State, piling up 27 unanswered points in the first 19 minutes of play. After the pass game surged last week, Illinois has gotten back to its bread and butter on the ground, as Troy Pollard provided a nice spark with a 61-yard dash to set up a touchdown. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase also is running the ball better than he did in Week 1 (5 carries, 55 yards).

The defense also seems to be building confidence, as safety Trulon Henry recorded a pick-six and South Dakota State has been completely unable to move the ball. The Jackrabbits still are looking for their first first down, while Illinois already has nine.

This one's over, and I'm already looking forward to Illinois-Arizona State next week, a matchup of two improved and exciting teams.