Banks visited injured Legaux on Sunday

Coming over from Cincinnati in 2011, defensive coordinator Tim Banks was especially emotional to see the Bearcats star quarterback go down with an injury in the fourth quarter of the Illini’s 42-17 victory Saturday.

Signal caller Munchie Legaux had his knee rolled up by Illini defenders and immediately crumpled to the ground with his leg bent awkwardly to the side. Linebacker Houston Bates frantically waved over to the Cincinnati medical staff as soon as the play ended.

“We are in the business of helping kids,” Banks said. “Any time you recruit a kid and go through that process, you feel connected to him. I love all the players I’ve coached, and it kills me when they’re not successful or hurt.”

Banks and his wife went to visit Legaux at the hospital Sunday.

“He was in as good of spirits as you could be with the circumstances,” he said. “He’s really a good kid, and I’m not just giving you coach-speak. A great competitor.”

Cubit named Coordinator of the week

Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit was named National Coordinator of the Week by Athlon Sports. The first-year play caller has resurrected an Illinois offense that was near the bottom in the country in most major statistical categories in 2012.

After Saturday’s victory over the Bearcats, the Illini rank 10th nationally in passing yards — at 363.5 per game — as well as 27th in the country in points per game with 43.5.

The year prior, the Illini offense ranked 107th in passing yards and 119th in scoring offense. In just two games, starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase already has more touchdowns and plays of 30 plus and 50 plus than in the entire 2012 campaign.

Washington offense presents tempo problems

With the upcoming game against Washington, the Illini defense will face its biggest test from a tempo standpoint since last season’s contest against Louisiana Tech.

The Huskies rolled up 592 yards against then-No. 19 Boise State in week one and push the tempo like many Pac-12 teams do.

Washington reeled off 85 plays in just 29:09 of possession time and presented a balanced attack; the Huskies passed for 324 yards and rushed for 268.

“They’re extremely fast,” Banks said. “They play at a breakneck tempo, and their quarterback is as good as advertised.”

Illini receiving votes in both polls

After the team’s upset win over Cincinnati, the Illini were recognized by the media and coaches by receiving votes in both polls. Tim Beckman said during his press conference that he “had no idea” that the team was getting any recognition from the pollsters.

In the Associated Press poll, Illinois ranks 34th, tallying nine votes, while in the USA Today Coaches poll, the Illini earned three votes to be 40th.

This marks the first time since Oct. 24, 2011, that the Illini have received votes in both polls.

Upcoming opponent Washington was ranked 19th by the AP and 23rd in the USA Today poll, while Cincinnati, who had been getting votes before the loss to Illinois, lost all votes in both polls.

Stephen can be reached at [email protected] and @steve_bourbon.