Illini Win Bowl Games in Back to Back Years- 1st Time in School History



For the second year in a row, the Illini found themselves with a college basketball game scheduled at the exact same time as a college football game. Their bowl selection led to the scheduling conflict.

Last year, they won both as the football team crushed Robert Griffin III’s Baylor Bears in the Texas Bowl while the hoopsters beat the Iowa Hawkeyes handily.

This year Illinois football beat UCLA 20-13 in the Kraft Fight Hunger bowl while the cagers went to Purdue and…let’s not talk about that one.

Yes, indeed basketball turned out pretty bad today, and the football game was no picnic to watch itself. It was 7-3 Bruins heading into the final stanza. And before QB Nathan Scheelhaase hit senior receiver A.J. Jenkins with a 60 yard TD pass, his yards per attempt was a putrid 2.7. Yes that one pass play was just 10 yards less than the combined total of his previous 15 completions.

Scheelhaase did run for over 110 yards though. And the defense held UCLA to just 19 yards rushing.

Yes, this is the first ever back to back bowl win years in Illinois football history. That fact is less impressive when I remind you that both this year’s team and last year’s went 7-6! And that 70/120 FBS teams go to bowls these days. And that bowl expansion is a fairly recent phenomenon. And that UCLA came in 6-7 and had to petition the NCAA to even get the chance to be there. But I’ll just stop now.

It’s still back to back bowl wins.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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