Illinois' Mendenhall and Will Davis Earn POW

Illini running back breaks loose for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns in road victory at Indiana.


Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois
JR, RB, Skokie, Ill./Niles West

Mendenhall broke loose for a career-high 214 rushing yards, averaging an incredible 7.9 yards on 27 carries while scoring a touchdown both on the ground and through the air to lead the Illini to a victory at Indiana. The junior running back scored on a 15-yard reception near the end of the first half to give the visitors a 20-7 lead at the break and added a five-yard scoring run to open the final stanza to boost Illinois to a 27-7 advantage. Mendenhall became the first Illini rusher to crack the 200-yard mark since the 1998 season and led the program to its first Big Ten opening win in 14 years. The Illinois native surpassed the 100-yard plateau for the third straight game against a Hoosiers defense that entered the game ranked 10th in the country in rushing defense. Mendenhall rates second in the Big Ten with 134.0 yards per outing and is averaging 7.0 yards per carry. He picks up his first career weekly accolade and the first for an Illini offensive player since 2003. LAST ILLINOIS OFFENSIVE POW: QB Jon Beutjer on Sept. 22, 2003


Will Davis, Illinois
JR, DE, Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt

Davis set career highs with five tackles for loss and four sacks, the second-best single-game performance in Illinois history, to help shut down an explosive Indiana offense. The junior defensive end collected seven tackles, including five solo stops, and also forced a fumble to lead an Illini defense that limited Indiana to only 14 points, more than 30 points below its season average. The Hoosiers entered the game ranked third in the conference and 17th nationally with 44.3 points per outing. Davis' four sacks are tied for the third-highest single-game total in Big Ten history and were the most for an Illinois player since Simeon Rice set the school record with five sacks against Washington State in 1994. The Maryland native earns his first career weekly honor. LAST ILLINOIS DEFENSIVE POW: LB J. Leman on Nov. 20, 2006

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