Illini rushing attack struggles against Gophers: “It’s just about us executing”


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The Illinois rushing attack is looking for a reset after failing to hit 100 net yards in the team’s 40-17 loss at Minnesota. It’s just the second time in the last 18 games the Illini have not passed the century mark in the ground game.

“Teams are going to give us different looks than they play all season,” Illinois senior running back Reggie Corbin said. “They’re going to play us different than anybody else but it comes down to us being able to listen and adjust and do what the coaches are telling us to do.”

Corbin led the Illini against the Gophers, running 14 times for 68 yards. That’s the senior’s lowest total since the season opener when an injury forced him to leave the game early. The Illinois running backs averaged just 4.5 yards per carry at Minnesota, that’s compared to their season average of 6.7 yards per carry.

“There are some things that we’ve got to get cleaned up that can help us but I think people are starting to tune in a little bit more to help take the run away by adding extra numbers and that’s nothing new,” Illinois offensive coordinator Rod Smith said. “It’s just a matter of us executing.”

Minneosta had its way on the ground against Illinois, rushing for 332 yards and two touchdowns. As a whole, the Illini rush defense is 13th in the Big Ten and 98th in the country, allowing an average of 183.2 yards per game.

No. 16 Michigan comes to Champaign on Saturday for an 11 a.m. nationally televised kickoff with the 16th ranked scoring defense in the country, allowing opponents just 16 points per game.

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