The Illini offense is expected to improve further this season under offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, but it still looked like a work in progress in week one as the play was sloppy at times and the running game needs significant improvement. However, Oklahoma State transfer Wes Lunt looked solid today and has impressive spin on his passes as well as places the ball down field in good fashion. Lunt finished with 285 passing yards and four touchdowns on 24-of-38 passing.
The defense gave a firm performance led by leading tacklers, junior linebacker Mason Monheim (14) and sophomore defensive back Taylor Barton (13). Sophomore linebacker Carroll Phillips had a vicious late game sack as well.
The offensive line appears to needs the most polishing and lacks definitive push in the rushing attack. The Illini only ran the ball for 80 yards. As they step up their caliber of opponents, the line could have big problems.
*Wes Lunt had the best debut for an Illinois quarterback. See how he stacked up to other Illini QB first starts.
Wes Lunt, opp Youngstown State, 285 yards, 4 touchdowns
Kurt Kittner, opp Iowa, 245 yards, 2 interceptions
Jack Trudeau, opp Missouri. 221 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Tony Eason, opp Pittsburgh, 204 yards
Juice Williams, opp Iowa, 161 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions
Jeff George, opp Washington State, 143 yards, 1 interception
Nathan Scheelhaase, opp Missouri, 81 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions
Dave Wilson, opp Northwestern, 57 yards, 1 interception