Can Illini’s Cincinnati Shocker Spark A Big Season?

Martize Barr, Spencer HarrisTuesday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) What a difference a week makes.

Seven days ago in this space I was lamenting the lackluster quality of the Fighting Illini’s 42-34 Week 1 football victory over Southern Illinois – and worrying about what it portended for rest of the season.

Today, however, I’m still somewhat in awe about the Illini’s lustrous 45-17 Week 2 football victory over Cincinnati – and wondering about what it portends for the rest of the season.

What a difference an offensive coordinator makes, too.

With the Illini an unexpected 2-0 and Tim Beckman, Bill Cubit & Co. actually feeling buoyed for once, rather than buried, here are a few thoughts on the team as they prepare to face Washington at Soldier Field this Saturday.

Shock to the system

To call Saturday’s rout of the Bearcats a stunner would be an understatement of, well, stunning proportions.

Illinois staggered into the game after pulling an escape-artist act against the Salukis. Cincinnati rolled in after romping over Big Ten member Purdue by five touchdowns. And then the Illini completely flipped the script.

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