Last week, South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore ran away with Eastbay College Football Player of the Week honors. This week, the title will stay with the running backs. In a highly publicized game that took place at the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field between Illinois and Northwestern, it was Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure who stole the show. Leshoure carried the ball 33 times for 330 yards, reaching the endzone twice on the day.
Leshoure set the tone early, scoring touchdowns on Illinois’ first two possessions. The team’s third touchdown in the first quarter was not scored by Leshoure, but it was his 70-yard scamper that set the Illini up inside the 5-yard line. That trend continued for the duration of the game, as Leshoure produced big time runs and set up scoring drives for Illinois. His day on the ground also helped Illinois dominate the time of possession by a lopsided tally of 41 minutes to 19. Leshoure’s 100-yard 4th quarter performance set up two more scores for the team, which proved to be the difference. Illinois went on to win the Wrigley Bowl by a score of 48-27.
The 330-yard performance is an Illinois school record, breaking Robert Holcombe’s 1996 mark of 315 yards. Additionally, Leshoure’s day is the biggest in college football since Navy’s Shun White cranked out a 348-yard day in 2008. “The No. 1 thing was to get the win, help my team out and get to that bowl game,” said Leshoure. “I’m happy the stats were the way they were, but that definitely wasn’t on my mind going into the game.”
Illinois will travel to play the Fresno State Bulldogs in the regular season finale on December 3rd.
images via Yahoo