Lovie Smith’s presence in the transfer portal is paying off early in the season for Illinois. Not only is the Illini defense reaping the benefits, so is defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku Jr.

Betiku came to Illinois from USC, hoping to make an immediate impact on the Illini’s defensive front. Through two games, he’s certainly done that. He’s leading the nation in two major statistical categories following Week 2 action.

Per CFBstats.com, Betiku has registered 5.0 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss through two games for the Illini, both of which are best in the nation currently. He’s reached those totals after having a monster game against UConn on Saturday, recording 3.5 sacks in the 31-23 win on the road.

An impressive showing for the defensive lineman.

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Betiku has also registered a total of 10 stops, seven of which are solo, and four quarterback hurries on the year. To say he’s been a nightmare to offensive linemen and opposing quarterbacks is a major understatement.

Illinois is 2-0 on the year and Betiku is a big reason why through two games this season. Looks like getting some of those big names in the transfer portal is actually worth the effort.