By Dave Wischnowsky
The WISCH LIST
It’s 2,099 miles from Memorial Stadium in Champaign to Husky Stadium in Seattle, but for the Illinois football program that plays there this afternoon, the destination might as well be the moon.
And not just because of its proximity to the Space Needle.
After all, a rocket ship is only slightly more of a longshot than what Illini football has been on the West Coast over the past quarter century.
In fact, the last time that Illinois won a true road game against a Pac-12 foe was way back during the season opener in 1989 when the Illini, led by coach John Mackovic and quarterback Jeff George, upended fifth-ranked USC 14-13 at The Coliseum in Los Angeles.
Since then, Illinois has gone 0-8 in regular-season games held in Pac-12 venues. The Illini did beat UCLA out on the Left Coast in 2011, but that came during the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.
At 3 p.m., however, they get another shot when facing 2-0 Washington. I’ll be in attendance, and as for how the game will turn out, I don’t know. But here’s what I do.
Huskies’ D is vulnerable
In Week 1, Washington eked out a 17-16 win over a Hawaii team that went 1-11 last season. But the Huskies were without starting quarterback Cyler Miles, who was suspended for the season opener.
In Week 2, UW had Miles back, but appeared to have suspended its defense. At least that’s the way it looked when diminutive Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. – who some think has NFL potential – torched the Husky defense for 475 yards on 31-of-46 passing and a whopping seven touchdowns, the most ever yielded by Washington.