Illini Win Over #18 Arizona State Feels Like Champaign Campaign

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With Illinois defeating the #18 Arizona State Sun Devils 17-14 tonight; and getting off to their first 3-0 start since 2001, it’s starting to feel quite a bit like that year. It was Illinois’ most recent Big Ten title season, but that’s not why it feels that way. The Fighting Illini have a long way to go to reach that Champaign Campaign plateau.

However, there are a few similarities. Start with our national day of remembrance last week for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Throw in the 3-0 start coincidence, and the last win over a Pac-10 team coming in the ’01 season opener (at California 44-17), and it’s reminiscent a bit.

But the 2001 game this matches up with is the shootout win over a ranked Louisville team and Chris Redman. Both were early non-conference, first real test and the Illini pass with flying colors.

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