3 things we learned in Nebraska’s 28-6 win over Illinois

Nebraska football-Tanner Lee

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — There wasn’t much doubt in Nebraska’s 28-6 win over Illinois on Friday.

Here are three things we learned from Nebraska’s win:

Tanner Lee’s decision-making still questionable at times

Quarterback Tanner Lee’s first half against Illinois was pretty much perfect. A look at his first half against Rutgers versus his first half against Illinois shows the improvement week over week:

  • Lee’s first half against Rutgers: 13 of 26, 109 yards, 2 TDs/2 INTs
  • Lee’s first half against Illinois: 11 of 13 for 167 yards and 2 TDs

While the first half was about all you could ask of Nebraska’s quarterback, the second half showcased some of the poor decision-making Lee has made in the past. In the third quarter, in particular, there was one pass to Tyler Hoppes that just about ended as an interception. Hoppes saved the day with a pass breakup, but it could have been bad.

Once again, Lee will have to address some of those decisions over the following week. However, there is something to be said about his stats against Illinois — 17 of 24 for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Blackshirts can hold their own

It’s been a wild ride with Nebraska’s Blackshirts so far, but the group’s performance against Illinois showed what’s possible. A quick stat from the Big Ten Network’s statistics teams highlights the improvement.

Aside from that, the Blackshirts had 5 sacks for a loss of 32 yards and 10 tackles for a loss of 47 yards.

What changed?

“Freedom [Akinmoladun] kind of brought it up to me. He said the longer you’re out there, you start to get a feel for your opponent and I never came off the field,” defensive lineman Carlos Davis said postgame. “I started noticing everything [like] the little stuff with the O-line and I had seen it before. It started to click for me.”

Ben Stille has a lot of potential

Speaking of the Blackshirts, redshirt freshman linebacker Ben Stille had quite the night against Illinois. He ended with 4 tackles (3 solo), 3 tackles for loss and 1 sack. His 3 tackles for a loss are the most by any Husker this season.

Stille even earned quite a bit of Twitter attention for his performance from his teammates and former Huskers:


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