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Illini’s next two games — Cincinnati, Washington — are no soft touches

B.J. Knauf Adrian Witty Trenier Orr

B.J. Knauf, Adrian Witty, Trenier Orr

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AP TOP 25

1 Alabama (1-0)

At No. 7 Texas A&M Sept. 14

2 Ohio State (1-0)

vs. San Diego State Saturday

3 Oregon (1-0)

at Virginia Saturday

4 Stanford (0-0)

vs. San Jose State Saturday

5 Georgia (0-1)

vs. No. 6 South Carolina Saturday

6 South Carolina (1-0)

at No. 5 Georgia Saturday

7 Texas A&M (1-0)

vs. Sam Houston State Saturday

8 Clemson (1-0)

vs. South Carolina State Saturday

9 Louisville (1-0)

WON 49-7 Sunday vs. Ohio

10 Florida (1-0)

at Miami (Fla.) Saturday

11 Florida State (0-0)

7 p.m. Monday at Pittsburgh

12 LSU (1-0)

vs. UAB Saturday

13 Oklahoma State (1-0)

at UTSA Saturday

14 Notre Dame (1-0)

at No. 17 Michigan Saturday

15 TEXAS (1-0)

at BYU Saturday

16 Oklahoma (1-0)

vs. West Virginia Saturday

17 Michigan (1-0)

vs. No. 14 Notre Dame Saturday

18 NEbraska (1-0)

vs. Southern Miss Saturday

19 Boise State (0-1)

vs. UT-Martin Saturday

20 TCU (0-1)

vs. SE Louisiana Saturday

21 UCLA (1-0)

at Nebraska Sept. 14

22 Northwestern (1-0)

vs. Syracuse Saturday

23 Wisconsin (1-0)

vs. Tennessee Tech Saturday

24 USC (1-0)

vs. Washington State Saturday

25 Oregon State (0-1)

vs. Hawaii Saturday

Updated: October 3, 2013 6:25AM



How well Illinois coach Tim Beckman slept Saturday night might be directly ­related to whether he stayed up until midnight watching Washington obliterate Boise State 38-6.

To followers of the Broncos, who hadn’t lost a game by more than four points since 2007, it had to be truly shocking. More relevant to the Illini, what does that score say about Washington? The Huskies will be at Soldier Field on Sept. 14 to play Beckman’s team, not Marc Trestman’s. At least the latter coach would have a fighting chance.

It was a scary way for the night to end, given Illinois’ Week 2 opponent, Cincinnati, had already embarrassed Purdue 42-7. Leading up to Saturday’s game at Memorial Stadium (11 a.m., ESPN2), the narrative will be about the Illini trying to avoid a similarly ugly fate and somehow spring what would be a major upset.

And before you quibble with the word “major”: Cincy opened as a 10½-point favorite. Double-digits equals major where we come from, bub.

Wake-up call

Call it a hunch, but something tells us the most-hyped defensive lineman ever, Jadeveon Clowney, won’t sleep on the job Saturday at Georgia (3:30, ESPN).

If you watch a D-lineman closely throughout a game, you’re going to see his effort wax and wane. Clowney blatantly dogged it a couple of times in the Gamecocks’ opening win against North Carolina, and Twitter let him have it. It’s silly, though. Clowney is a sack-fumble waiting to happen every play he is on the field. After he drops Aaron Murray a couple of times in the SEC East game of the year, his Heisman candidacy will be stronger than ever.

Johnny Smacktalk

Is everyone really going to obsess all week over Johnny Manziel’s on-field antics in Texas A&M’s opener against Rice? Sorry, that was a dumb question. Of course that’s going to happen.

It’s no Navy

Did Brian Kelly really downplay the Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry on Sunday? Ridiculous. Just because Kelly chose not to try to preserve what has become one of the best and most anticipated early season games every year, that doesn’t mean he should phony-baloney us, too. Irish at Wolverines (7, ESPN) is a very good thing. Saturday will be the next-to-last meeting before the rivalry goes on what hopefully won’t be too long of a hiatus.

Take that, big boys

You likely heard about Eastern Washington’s and North Dakota State’s upset victories at Oregon State and Kansas State, respectively, but were you aware that seven FCS teams beat FBS teams in Week 1? It was the most in any week ever. FCS teams get 35 more cracks at it in Week 2. Be ready for anything.

State rivals

On the off chance you don’t consider Illini football must-see TV, Florida at Miami is likewise an 11 a.m. option, on ESPN. There was a time when this matchup would have happened in prime time or it wouldn’t have happened at all. Gators-’Canes isn’t as sexy as it used to be, but both teams have reasonable BCS potential.

Email: sgreenberg@suntimes.com

Twitter: @slgreenberg



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