The Nebraska Cornhuskers open up Big Ten play today facing the Illinois Fighting Illini with an 8 p.m. kickoff. Last week, Miami’s young quarterback saw what can happen with 92,000 fans getting revved up into a frenzy and now the Illini sophomore quarterback Wes Lunt could get the next dose as he faces an improving Blackshirts defense.
“We’ve definitely had a good week,” Head Coach Bo Pelin said after a couple of shaky weeks for the defense. “I mean it always depends how they’re going to come out and choose to play us, but we could definitely end up in multiple packages. We just have to see how it plays out. Our linebackers have had a good week.”
Junior linebacker David Santos will most likely miss the game due to an injury suffered last Saturday against Miami. Santos has 11 solo tackles and 13 assists. He also had an interception against Miami last weekend.
Illinois’ Lunt has lived up to the hype thus far, throwing for 1,237 yards (ninth-most in FBS) and 11 touchdowns (eighth-most in FBS) during his first four games as an Illini. His 154.08 passing effeciency ranks 31st in FBS. Lunt has been at his best in the fourth quarter this season, completing 28-of-34 passes for 388 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions. Lunt is tied for the FBS lead in fourth-quarter TDs (5), is second in yards (388) and completion percentage (82.4), and third in passing efficiency (226.74 – min. 10 att.). Lunt has shown big-play ability early in the season. He ranks fourth nationally with 10 pass plays of 30+ yards and is tied for fourth in FBS with two pass plays of 60+ yards.