Illinois Fighting Illini Football on the rise; in AP Top 25 first time since 2011

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Illinois football team is in the AP Top 25, coming in at #24 in this week’s poll. The Fighting Illini are ranked for the first time since 2011.

Illinois (5-1, 2-1 Big Ten) is tied for first in the Big Ten West standings thanks to the top scoring defense in the nation and the nation’s leading rusher. Chase Brown has rushed for 879 yards, best in the country, with 100-yard rushing performances in every game this season.

The Illini’s defense ranks in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense (1st, 8.0), touchdowns allowed (1st, 3), passing efficiency defense (1st, 80.7), red zone defense (2nd, 55.6%), total defense (3rd, 227.8), rushing defense (3rd, 67.2), fourth down defense (4th, 12.5%), first downs allowed (6th, 74), takeaways (6th, 14), third down defense (6th, 26.4%), interceptions (7th, 9), and passing defense (9th, 160.7). The Illini are the only team in the nation that has yet to allow a touchdown at home this season.