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Illinois Football Freshmen help Stabilize the Ship vs FAU



Illinois Football Freshmen help Stabilize the Ship vs FAU

Illinois Football Freshmen help Stabilize the Ship vs FAU

Woof. Illinois Football gets back in the win column. Though it certainly was not pretty and it certainly does not calm the nerves of any fan, Illinois Football came out victorious on Saturday evening. They trailed 10-0 to end the first quarter, and subsequently sent fans into a major panic. The game was expected to be a “get-right” win, however fans quickly changed their view to “just win”. Illinois squeaked it out 23-17. Look, there are not many positives from today. Check Writing Illini’s twitter page if you want to avoid the worry that looms large as Illinois football starts conference play.

However, one major storyline is that true freshmen are slowly taking the field. This could be viewed as good and bad. True freshmen should usually never see the field, unless they are elite 5 star prospects or the rare Devon Witherspoon case. Illinois had a handful of their true freshmen play major snaps. Surprisingly, most of them held their own.


Major props have to be given to Zachary Tobe and Saboor Karriem. The true freshmen DB’s were forced directly into the fire. Tahveon Nicholson and Tyler Strain have struggled as starters, and Nicholson later experienced an injury. Tobe and Karriem are two talented prospects who held their own. Both had 3 pass deflections a piece, and Tobe had an extremely impressive one in the end zone. Illinois is not very deep outside of Nicholson and Strain, however Tobe and Karriem experienced some much needed success on the field.


Kaden Feagin really stepped in and gave a jolt. The running back room has struggled. It is a combination of inexperience and the offensive line truly struggling to get any push. Unfortunately, neither Reggie Love or Josh McCray has looked like a number one back this season. Illinois will truly have to do this by committee, and Feagin adds a breath of fresh air. The central Illinois native had 3 carries for 28 yards including a 25 yard run to seal the deal. Feagin did miss a key block in the redzone, and Malik Elzy did drop two balls today. Despite this, both have showed promise and what they can be in the future.

Redshirt Freshman, Aidan Laughery, also showed that he should be getting reps. Laughery has a wiggle and explosiveness that no one else in the running back room has. Similar to Mike Epstein, Laughery is elusive and can be a dangerous weapon.

Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.