Just in case the noon matchup between Wisconsin and Illinois wasn't Big Ten enough for you, it began to snow like hell late in the first quarter at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday. It was a scene only a true football guy could dream of.
The problem with said scene is that it leads to some ugly football, not that there is anything wrong with that. Especially when it leads to plays like these, where the Wisconsin punter drops the ball, picks it up and somehow evades defenders to get off a monstrous 20-yard boot that an Illinois defender catches for some stupid reason:
So much to unpack from what could possibly be the most Big Ten play in the history of the Big Ten. First off, excellent snap in the snow from the long snapper, but apparently too excellent for the punter to contain. Solid job of finding a way to get it off, even if it only traveled just over 15 yards past the line of scrimmage. Where it got really interesting was right here:
Just tackle him! He's basically a runner at this point, so trying to block this does you no good. Maybe he's on a tough angle but when you rewatch the play, it certainly looks like they've have a clean shot at him:
And then the best part comes when the guy catches the punt. When it's snowing like that you just have to rely on your instincts. See the ball in mid air, catch the ball, even if it means possibly dropping it and giving the ball back to the Badgers, who just gifted you the best field position of the day. Peak Illinois. Peak Illinois-Wisconsin. Peak Big Ten. Sadly, it's stopped snowing in this game, making it significantly less watchable. But for a time, Wisconsin-Illinois was once the game of the day. That's how we'll choose to remember it.