(WCIA) — Illinois football is proving they have some much needed depth on the linebacker unit. Dawson DeGroot and Khalan Tolson both stepped up for the Illini in their win over Michigan State.
Milo Eifler was ejected early from the game, while Jake Hansen was out with an injury. That left Illinois without two of their best linebackers against the Spartans, but DeGroot and Tolson were able to play big roles for the Illini. DeGroot earned a career-high 11 tackles, with Tolson earned nine. The two backups helped the Illini secure the program’s best comeback win.
“Being ready on the sideline, and then obviously getting in a game like that, and being able to do what we did in the fourth quarter it was good to be a part of it,” says DeGroot. “I think it shows that when we do what were coached to do and believe in our keys and assignments, our defense is legit and were a good defense.”
With Hansen still questionable with an injury, DeGroot and Tolson might have to step up again on Saturday. Kick-off is set for 11 A.M. CT in Iowa City.