Special teams was expected to be a major point of concern for Illinois heading into this season, but surprisingly, that has arguably been one of its biggest strengths.
Much of this is due to Illinois' punter, Anthony Santella.
Santella, a 6'2", 190-pound, senior punter from Wauconda, IL, was named to Rivals.com Midseason All-American Team.
Santella has been Illinois' punter for all four years and is having the best year of his career. He is currently the second-ranked punter in the nation, averaging 47.92 yards per punt on 24 punts.
Last season, special teams plagued the Illini. They were constantly losing the battle of field position, which put tremendous pressure on a struggling defense.
But things have changed this season, and special teams are no longer pestering Illinois, which has affected both the offense and defense of the Illini in a positive way.
Special teams is one of the most important aspects in a teams' success, and if Illinois wants to continue its winning ways, the special teams must continue to be effective.