Josh Imatorbhebhe

Getty Images

Eastern Michigan drops Illinois, beats Big Ten school for the third year in a row

Leave a comment

Perhaps the two conferences could work a trade? I hear one B1G school — I won’t say the name, but it rhymes with “Shmutgers” — may be available.

Trailing Eastern Michigan 31-17 in the middle of the fourth quarter, Illinois rallied for two touchdowns in a span of just over six minutes to tie the game at 31-all.  The last score, a 36-yard touchdown pass from Michigan transfer Brandon Peters to USC transfer Josh Imatorbhebhe, was the culmination of a seven-play, 93-yard drive that included a 4th-and-10 conversion from their own seven-yard line.

That would be the highest of the highs on the day for the Fighting Illini as the Eagles’ punctuated their own late-game drive with Chad Ryland‘s 24-yard field goal as time expired to claim a thrilling 34-31 win.

This marks the third straight season that Chris Creighton‘s EMU squad has knocked off a school from the Big Ten.  In September of 2018, it was Purdue (20-19); in September of 2017, it was Rutgers (16-13).

Prior to 2017, Eastern Michigan had never beaten a team from that conference in 39 tries.

Overall, the MAC has now beaten at least one Big Ten team in 14 straight seasons.

And try this final nugget on for size: Creighton now has nearly as many wins over Big Ten teams (three) as Lovie Smith (four).  Heading into Illinois’ B1G opener against Nebraska next weekend, Smith has posted a 4-23 record in conference play.

USC transfer WR Keyshawn Young moves on to Marshall

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Another of the handful of USC wide receivers who left the Trojans this offseason has found a new college football home.

On his personal Twitter account Monday, Keyshawn Young announced that he will be continuing his playing career at Marshall.  The missive comes a little over a month after Young utilized the same social media website to confirm his transfer from the Trojans.

Barring an unexpected turn of events, Young will be forced to sit out the 2019 season to comply with NCAA transfer bylaws.  That would then make the 2020 season his final year of eligibility.

Young was a three-star member of the Trojans’ 2016 recruiting class.  The 5-11, 170-pound Florida native played in nine games, all at cornerback, during his true freshman season before moving to wide receiver prior to his sophomore campaign.  He didn’t catch a pass in either of the past two seasons.

In addition to Young, Randal Grimes (UNLV), Josh Imatorbhebhe (Illinois), Trevon Sidney (Illinois) are all receivers who have left the Land of Troy this offseason and found new homes.  Bru McCoy (Texas) and Velus Jones (NCAA transfer database) left as well before experiencing a change of heart and ultimately returning HERE and HERE.

Illinois lands former USC WR Josh Imatorbhebhe

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Los Angeles-to-Champaign pipeline is alive and well.

After landing wide receiver Trevon Sidney and defensive end Oluwole Betiku, Jr., the Fighting Illini have added wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe, he announced Monday.

“Transitions are never easy, but the support has definitely helped lighten the load,” Imatorbhebhe, No. 17 above, wrote in an iPhone note posted to his Twitter account. “Without further ado I’m pleased to announce my commitment to…

THE University of Illinois; with a plan to get my Masters (sic) in Strategic Brand Communications.”

A former 4-star recruit in the class of 2016 out of Suwanee, Ga., Imatorbehbhe redshirted in his first year on campus, then caught just two passes in his two seasons on the active roster, with his 2018 season slowed by an ankle injury.

Imatorbehbhe will have two seasons to play immediately for the Illini.

Illinois a possibility for another USC transfer

Getty Images
1 Comment

Illinois has already missed out on one transfer from USC — after thinking they had landed him — but are still in play for another.

Last week, reported, wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe took an official visit to the Illini campus.  In late January, Imatorbhebhe had taken to Twitter to announce his decision to transfer from the Trojans.

As Imatorbhebhe has already graduated from USC, the receiver would be eligible to play in 2019 at any FBS school to which he transfers.

Imatorbhebhe was a four-star 2016 signee who had two catches for 11 yards as a redshirt freshman.  This past season, an ankle injury helped keep him sidelined for the entire 2018 season.

We would be remiss if we didn’t note that, already this offseason, three wide receivers have reneged on their signed (in two cases) commitments to the Illini to either return to their previous school or sign with another.