Illinois beats Nebraska in school soccer’s opener as Cornhuskers’ troubles develop


One of the simplest ways to get individuals speaking about your favourite school soccer program is to both be persistently related or be so inept that the mere point out of that faculty elicits head-shaking and laughter.

The latter is particularly true of Nebraska, which brazenly campaigned to play throughout a pandemic final season after which complained when the Huge Ten launched its schedule.

The Cornhuskers additionally tried to get out of this season’s Sept. 18 matchup towards Oklahoma, and led by head coach Scott Frost, tried to gauge the curiosity of a number of Group of 5 Convention packages to interchange the Sooners, in accordance to The Motion Community.

Saturday’s 30-22 loss to Illinois will not assist issues, but it surely will get worse.

Nebraska is underneath NCAA investigation, accused of utilizing analysts and consultants improperly throughout practices and video games through the 2020 season.

Maybe the most well liked seat within the sport on account of Frost’s 12-20 document in his first three seasons at his alma mater, will once more ignite buyout chatter in Lincoln.

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Illinois running back Mike Epstein celebrates his touchdown during the first half against Nebraska.

Illinois operating again Mike Epstein celebrates his landing through the first half towards Nebraska.

12 months 4 of the Frost experiment bought off to a tough begin as Bret Bielema, in his Illinois teaching debut, spoiled Nebraska’s comeback try on a sweltering day in Champaign.

Nebraska was once more performed in by a bevy of poor decision-making and even worse execution.

The season’s first rating got here when Nebraska punt returner Cam Britt-Taylor inexplicably fielded the ball on the 2-yard line, ran backward and was tackled in the long run zone to present Illinois a 2-0 lead.

On Illinois’ subsequent possession, quarterback Brandon Peters was slammed to the turf on his left shoulder and didn’t return to the sport. He watched from the sideline along with his arm in a sling.

Rutgers switch Artur Sitkowski entered the sport and was promptly sacked on the following play.

The Huskers hit pay dust within the second quarter on a Markese Stepp 2-yard landing run. However close to the tip of the half, Illinois capitalized on one other Nebraska mistake when Adrian Martinez was sacked and fumbled resulting in a 41-yard scoop and rating by linebacker Calvin Hart.

Illinois took the opening second-half possession and chewed eight minutes off the clock and pushed its result in 23-9 on a Sitkowski 2-yard TD cross to Luke Ford. Sitkowski completed with an environment friendly 12-of-15 for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

The identical points that plagued the Huskers a 12 months in the past popped up once more. Martinez was not environment friendly and when he did have time, he overthrew receivers or held the ball too lengthy, leading to 5 sacks. The punt return miscue and two missed further factors added to a different irritating day for Frost.

Martinez was 16-of-32 for 232 yards with one landing and added 111 on the bottom, together with a third-quarter 75-yard scramble that minimize right into a three-touchdown deficit.

The Illini couldn’t have scripted the opening sport any higher. Bielema is again within the Huge Ten, following his stint at Wisconsin, the place he gained three Huge Ten titles in seven years earlier than shifting to Arkansas and spending time as an NFL assistant.

Illinois is within the midst of a reset after the five-year tenure of Lovie Smith, who went 17-39 with a 10-33 mark in convention play.

Relying on how lengthy Peters is out, the Illini might want to depend on their floor sport and veteran offensive line to maintain their protection, which ranked final within the Huge Ten in 2020, contemporary.

Shades of old skool Bielema-ball is again, at the very least for one week.

Comply with USA TODAY Sports activities NOW reporter Scooby Axson on Twitter @scoobaxson

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Faculty soccer: Illinois downs Nebraska as Cornhuskers’ woes develop



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