Covering the Land of Lincoln

Illinois Hosts Rutgers for Dads Day on Saturday

October 25, 2021


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CHAMPAIGN, Illinois – The Illinois soccer team returns home for the annual Dads Day at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The go-ahead is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT on the Big Ten Network.

Illinois (3-5, 2-3 Big Ten) ranks # 7 Penn State in nine overtimes from a 20-18 win, marking the longest game in college football history. The Illinois were led by their stormy assault, taking 357 yards on the ground while Chase Brown and Josh McCray ran 223 and 142 yards, respectively.

The Illinois are now turning to Rutgers (3-4, 0-4 Big Ten) who are coming in a goodbye week. The Scarlet Knights started 3-0 before losing four straight times, but three of the losses went to national teams in Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State. Noah Vedral leads the Rutgers offense with 1,274 yards and an additional 194 yards on the ground.

BTN is talking to Jeff Levering (play-by-play), Anthony Herron (analyst) and Elise Menaker (reporter) about the television broadcast. The Busey Bank Illinois Sports Network will have the radio call with Brian Barnhart (play-by-play), Martin O’Donnell (analyst) and Michael Martin (reporter).




  • Illinois and Rutgers compete in the Big Ten for the sixth year in a row.
  • The Illinois have won Rutgers three times in a row, including a 23-20 win last season at Piscataway.
  • As the oldest known parents’ association in the United States, founded in 1922, the Illinois Dads Association hosts the Dads Weekend annually. The philanthropic organization is part of events around the campus and awards over $ 25,000 annually in student scholarships and grants to registered student organizations.
  • Illinois will also celebrate its annual Military Recognition Day this weekend, including a flyover scheduled for the pregame at Memorial Stadium and other in-game recognitions.


  • Illinois wins the longest game in college football history, a 9-OT win at # 7 Penn State, 20-18.
  • Illinois was named National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America.
  • The win over # 7 Penn State was Illinois’ second in a row against a top 10 opponent (against # 6 Wisconsin, 23/23/2019, 10/19/2019).
  • It was Illinois’ first road win against a Ranked opponent since November 10, 2007 at # 1 Ohio State (28-21).
  • The win marked the 100th career victory for head coach Bret Bielema.
  • The Fighting Illinois defeated the Nittany Lions by 395-227, including a 357-62 cross in rushing yards and a 36:25 to 23:35 advantage in possession time.
  • Illinois’ 357 rushing yards were the most ever by an opponent in a Big Ten game at Beaver Stadium.


  • Illinois have kept their opponents at 24 points or less in five straight games for the first time since December 2010-September. 2011. Last year’s Illinois team allowed 24 points or less twice in eight games.
  • The Illinois defense is up 10+ points from last season (34.88 ppg to 23.75 ppg).
  • Illinois is ninth in the nation and second in the Big Ten in recovered fumbles (8).
  • Illinois ranks 24th in the nation and second in the Big Ten in terms of food stalls (13).
  • Illinois ranks 28th nationwide and seventh in the Big Ten (+0.62).


  • Chase Brown’s 223 rushing yards at Penn State was the most ever by an opponent at Beaver Stadium and the fourth most ever against Penn State.
  • Brown’s 223-yard game marks his second game of the season with 200+ yards (257 vs. Charlotte). He joined Howard Griffith (1990) and Rashard Mendenhall (2007) as the only player in the history of the Illinois program to play multiple 200-yard rushing games in a single season.
  • Brown is the first Illinois in history to run 220+ yards twice in his career. He did it in three games.
  • Brown blackened the 100 yard mark in the first half (134) at Penn State. At halftime, Brown’s 134 yards were already the most abandoned Penn State game this season.
  • According to the PFF, Brown led the nation by 141 yards after making contact last week. He has led the nation in yards twice in the past four weeks and is the only running back to have led the nation in yards twice this season.
  • Brown is one of three players at FBS to have two 200-yard rushing games this season.
  • Brown is ninth in the nation in yards per carry (6.85) and second in the Big Ten, just behind Ohio’s TreVeyon Henderson (8.79).
  • Brown is 16th nationwide in rushing yards per game (106.2) and second in the Big Ten, just behind Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III (142.4).
  • Brown’s 223 yards took him over 1000 yards as an Illinois. He is the 46th player in the program’s history to overshadow 1,000 yards in his career and is now number 37 on the list with exactly 1,200 yards in orange and blue. Brown also scored 352 yards as a freshman to Western Michigan, which gave him 1,552 for his college career.


  • Illinois offensive tackles Vederian Lowe and Alex Palczewski set the Illinois record for career starts at Penn State. With a start against Rutgers, both would set the record for career starts in Illinois history (49) previously set by QB Nathan Scheelhaase (2010-13), C Ryan McDonald (2005-08) and OL Tim Simpson (1988-91) held), who had all 48 career starts.



  • Series: Illinois leads, 5-2
  • Big Ten: Illinois leads, 4-1
  • Last: Illinois 23, Rutgers 20 (11/14/2020)
  • Streak: Illinois W3
  • at Champaign: Illinois leads, 2-1
  • Last season, Illinois beat the Scarlet Knights 23:20 after a field goal won by James McCourt in their last second game. Then QB Isaiah Williams made his first career start, setting the Illinois quarterback single-game rushing record at 192 yards.
  • The teams shared a conference-less home in 2005 and 2006 before Illinois won four of five Big Ten Conference games in the past four seasons.
  • The Road team has won four out of five games in the series since Rutgers joined the Big Ten.
  • Illinois and Rutgers meet for the sixth time since Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014.
  • Illinois won the first session of the program in extension on September 3, 2005 in Champaign. Illinois trailed 27-7 in the third quarter before scoring 20 unanswered points for overtime. After Rutgers hit a field goal in the first possession of extra time, Pierre Thomas’ two-yard touchdown run ended the game at 33:30. The 20 point comeback is the second largest comeback win in Illinois history, along with the Illinois 35-29 win in Michigan on October 25, 1999.
  • Illinois’ fastest yards vs. Rutgers: 192 Isaiah Williams 11/14/2021
  • Illinois’ most yards against Rutgers: 111 Ricky Smalling 10/14/2017
  • Illinois’ Most Passing Yards vs. Rutgers: 308 Jeff George Jr. 10/14/2017
  • Illinois’ longest run on Rutgers: 73 Reggie Corbin 10/6/2018
  • Illinois’ longest pass against Rutgers: 61 Chayce Crouch to Ke’Shawn Vaughn 10/15/2016
  • Illinois quarterback Artur Sitkowski started 15 games in three seasons at Rutgers, passing for 2,031 yards and eight touchdowns before moving to Illinois last summer.
  • Illinois linebackers coach Andy Buh was Rutgers’ 2019 defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
  • Illinois defensive backs trainer Aaron Henry’s first full-time coaching position came in 2016 at Rutgers, where he served as defensive backs coach.

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