Illini dominated in Homecoming game, 24-0 by the Badgers

By IlliniGuys.com Staff

October 9, 2021

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Chez Melluci and Braelon Allen each rushed for more than 100 yards as visiting Wisconsin turned in a dominating performance to spoil Illinois' Homecoming weekend, 24-0.

The Badgers eked out some revenge for their last visit to Champaign two years ago, when they came in as the #6 team in the nation and were upset 24-23 on a game-ending field goal by the Illini (2-5, 1-3).

Saturday was never close as Wisconsin (2-3, 1-2) controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides.  The Badgers rolled up 391 rushing yards, led by Melluci's 145 and another 131 from the freshman Allen.  Both also scored a 3rd quarter touchdown to add to a 10-0 halftime lead and put the game out of reach.

Meanwhile, the Illini offense was held in check throughout as the successful Illinois rushing effort in back to back games against Purdue and Charlotte never materialized.  After a season-high 332 rushing yards in the win over the 49ers a week ago, the Illini managed just 26 yards on 13 carries against the nation's top ranked run defense.  The Illini passing game continued its season-long struggles.  Senior Brandon Peters had just three completions on seven attempts for 12 yards before leaving the game with an undisclosed injury.  Backup Art Sitkowski entered for his fourth action of the season and misfired on his first 11 attempts, not completing a pass until the end of the 3rd quarter.  Sitkowski finished 8-27 for 55 yards.

In all, the Illini managed 93 total yards, marking the first time they failed to gain 100 yards in a game since 1977.

Lost in the effort was another terrific performance by Kerby Joseph.  The junior defensive back  intercepted a Graham Mertz pass on the Illinois- 3-yard line to stop an early Badger drive and keep the score at 3-0.  Later, Joseph recovered a fumble to stop another Wisconsin drive.

Stay with IlliniGuys.com for more postgame coverage.

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