It was supposed to be a high scoring affair between the high powered run game of the Fighting Illini, and the dual threat capabilities of Baylor's Robert Griffin III, but so far in the Texas Bowl, only one team has been holding up their end of the bargain. Mikel Leshoure and the Illini offensive line rolled up 82 yards on the ground in the first half, putting the Champaign product closer to the all time single season rushing record for the school.
Nathan Scheelhaase for his part has been perfect in passing 13-13 for 169 yards including a couple long passes to freshmen Darius Millines and Ryan Lankford. To set up Illinois scores.
The best performance of the day has to go to the Illinois defense, and the D-line in particular. Junior defensive tackle Corey Liuget has been a terror up front, getting pressure up the middle and getting two tackles for a loss and sack, Clay Nurse has notched a sack, and Akeem Spence has a fumble recovery.
The Illini defense has held the Bears to just 22 first half yards, and 148 total yards, while keeping them to just 1-5 on first down. The Illini have only scored one touchdown to compliment Derek Dimke's three field goals, but with the defense playing as well as they have, the offense may be playing more than well enough to win.