The story of the day in the Illini-Northwestern game was supposed to be the venue. And how everyone screwed the pooch on the configuration of the field ahead of the game.
However, one Illinois player ensured that most of the postgame talk will be about what happened on the field, regardless of how close said field was situated to the ivy-covered walls and how much of an embarrassment the rules of the game were.
In a performance for the ages at a Wrigley Field ballpark that’s seen it’s fair share of history, Illini running back Mikel Leshoure rushed for a staggering 330 yards on “just” 33 carries in an easy 48-27 win over Northwestern. It’s the most yards gained on the ground this year as well as a school record, eclipsing Robert Holcombe‘s 315 yards in 1996.
In the first quarter alone, Leshoure rushed for 159 yards. All told, the Illini rushed for a whopping 519 yards in the win.
So, yeah, the backyard rules were somewhat of a joke, but Leshoure ensured that his performance will at least be one positive to come out of the first — and probably last — college game at the ballpark in over 70 years.