In his 28th year covering the football team, Bob Asmussen has seen a lot of Illinois losses 184 of them, to be exact. Where does Saturday's 34 10 decision against Western Michigan rank on the embarrassment chart?
1. Southern Cal 55, Illinois 3, Sept. 7, 1996. While you were reading this, the Trojans just scored another touchdown. Illini actually led 3 0 before Southern Cal ripped off 55 in a row. Up by 38 late in the game, Trojans completed a 97 yard touchdown pass from Matt Koffler to R. Jay Soward. Ouch.
2. Penn State 63, Illinois 10, Oct. 22, 2005. Just a bit worse than the 61 14 loss to Michigan State three weeks earlier. Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions led 56 3 at halftime and could have scored 100. Michael Robinson had four TD passes in the first quarter, and Penn State had fumble and interception returns for scores.
3. San Jose State 38, Illinois 35, Sept. 21, 2002. The Spartans had a wild celebration after Nick Gilliam nailed a 37 yard game winner on the final play. The defending Big Ten champions fell to 1 3 on their way to a 5 7 season. Jon Beutjer threw for 426 yards, which remains one of the best single game passing performances in school history.
4. Western Michigan 34, Illinois 10, Sept. 17, 2016. The Illinois running game never got going (3 yards). The Broncos dominated both lines of scrimmage. This game drops off the naughty list if Western Michigan, which has also defeated Northwestern this season, runs the table and plays in one of the Access Bowls.
5. Purdue 48, Illinois 3, Oct. 25, 1997. A battle of first year coaches: Ron Turner at Illinois, and Joe Tiller at Purdue. Tiller's team finished 9 3 and ranked in the Top 25. Turner's team went 0 11 and lost every game by double digits. The Illini had seven turnovers in front of a smallish homecoming crowd. Fortunately, no TV coverage to show it to the rest of the world.
6. Louisiana Tech 52, Illinois 24, Sept. 22, 2012. Two weeks after a blowout loss at Arizona State, this was the first time Tim Beckman's team stumbled at home. Houston Bates and the Illini trailed just 21 17 at halftime, but got outscored 31 7 after intermission.
7. Ohio State 41, Illinois 3, Nov. 11, 1995. Buckeyes star Eddie George ran wild in Columbus, gaining 314 yards and clinching his Heisman Trophy. Remember, the Illinois defense included the second (Kevin Hardy) and third (Simeon Rice) picks in the upcoming NFL draft.
8. Northwestern 61, Illinois 23, Nov. 18, 2000. A year after finishing 8 4, the Illini needed a win at Ryan Field to become bowl eligible. But quarterback Kurt Kittner was hurt the previous week, forcing the Illini to use backup Dustin Ward. Not his fault the defense couldn't stop anyone. Damien Anderson and Zak Kustok combined for six rushing touchdowns.
9. Arizona 41, Illinois 0, Sept. 14, 1996. A week after the aforementioned 52 point loss to Southern Cal, the Illini had more troubles against the Pac 10. Illinois trailed just 13 wholesale nhl jerseys 0 early in wholesale nfl jerseys the fourth quarter and was driving for a touchdown. But the Illini had three interceptions returned for TDs in the final quarter and were outscored 28 0.
10. Clemson 30, Illinois 0, Jan. 1, 1991. Illini never had a chance in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa. Chris Gardocki kicked an early field goal for the Tigers, and DeChane Cameron threw two touchdown passes. Clemson's defense held Illinois to 62 rushing yards.
Not sure how a loss to wholesale jerseys China an undefeated team ranks as one of the top 10 losses in the history of Illinois Football. I'd not even put it in the top 5 losses of the last 10 years.
Losing to Purdue at home in 2014 was more embarassing.
Losing to Louisiana Tech in the Heart of Dallas Bowl was more embarassing.
Losing to Northwestern in a blowout in 2012 capping off an 0 8 Big 10 season was more embarassing.
Losing 33 0 to Rutgers in 2006 was more embarassing
And though it was not a loss on the scoreboard, winning the Penn State game 16 14 back in 2014 was a far more embarassing moment for Illinois football as it cemented the return of Tim Beckman in 2015. If that field goal by PSU goes through the uprights Beckman is gone and Illinois is a far different place right now.
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