La. Tech 52, UI 24: Just the facts

La. Tech 52, UI 24: Just the facts

Play of the game

In the first quarter of a 7-7 game, Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was looking for Ryan Lankford across the middle. He found Louisiana Tech's Solomon Randle. The Bulldogs scored three plays later, and the rout was on for the reigning WAC champions against the team from the Big Ten.

Numbers game: 6

That's the number of turnovers the Illini committed. In addition to Scheelhaase's two, Josh Ferguson, Justin Green, Dami Ayoola and Reilly O'Toole all committed turnovers, all of which led to Louisiana Tech points. The last time Illinois committed at least five turnovers was a win in 2008 against Eastern Illinois.

What it means

The opportunity to win three consecutive bowl games looks like a long shot as the Illini, who went 2-6 in conference play last season, will have to win four of their eight Big Ten games to become bowl eligible. Oh, and La. Tech might be for real. The Bulldogs, who have won 10 straight regular season games, have scored 45 or more in three straight games for the first time in school history.

What's next

The Big Ten opener against a Penn State team whose roster was decimated by NCAA sanctions in the wake of the child sex-abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. The Nittany Lions enter with momentum after Saturday's win against Temple, and Illinois is going to have to get a whole lot better between now and then to open the conference season with a win for the second straight season.

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports

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PeterE wrote on September 23, 2012 at 12:09 am

The facts are this is a horrid team with even more horrid putrid coaches running the show.
Mike Thomas, what have you done? You must be getting paid under the table by Illinois competitors to have saddled Illini with such imcompetent garbage coaches like Beckman.

Green Shirt wrote on September 23, 2012 at 8:09 am

Although I thought Vic Koening should get the UI head coach job, I am not yet ready to "throw in the towel" on Beckman and company.  I would think that MT would give Beckman at least as much time as Gary Moeller (3 years) and will probably get 4 or 5 years given that MT's credibility is at stake.  Bottom Line:  We need to be patient because Beckman is going nowhere in the immediate future.

crackerman wrote on September 23, 2012 at 8:09 am

I agree Green Shirt. This loss hurts, but I'm giving Beckman a chance as first year head coach. Four years from now, maybe a different story! Same goes for Groce too!

aaeismacgychel wrote on September 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

After what I witnessed in person at ASU, and on tv against LA Tech, I really don't see anything good coming in the future from the Beckman hire.  We have two primetime games against what should be similar competition and we get absolutely embarassed in both.  We completely gave up in the second half in both.  We had no answer or effective halftime alterations in both.  That's on the head coach.  Listen, I can understand the ASU debacle in this regard- that west coast trip is a tough one, playing in Tempe is tough (heck a decent Utah team just got blown out there), etc. etc.  I was willing to call that an anomaly even though I could clearly see the coordinators were not getting calls in in time, that the defense was looking for help from them and receiving none.  Heck there was at least one play, and possibly two where the DC only had 10 men on the field, yet there were no timeouts, no discussion, no simplification of packages.  This game was equally terrible.  What happened is no anomaly.  It's no fluke.  There is no better.  At best you can blame the coordinators, saying they were terrible hires.  But that too is on the coach.

Listen, Zook was not a good game coach.  I wanted him fired as much as the next person, but Beckman has showed me nothing positive.  Absolutely nothing.  There has been no improvement in Special Teams which really shouldn't be tough because we were worst in the NCAAs last year.  Our offense is just as bad and stagnant as it was last year, and our sterling defense is much much worse.  We also are far worse prepared for the games.  I'm not sure what positives we can actually take from Beckman's 4 games, because there are none.  Zero.  We can say we are doing nothing better this year.  This was an awful hire- there's no two ways around it.  Considering what we were bringing back this year, there's no reason Beckman couldn't get similar results as Graham of ASU or RichRod of Zona (tough at home, rough on the road).  I'm happy to give a coach the benefit of the doubt, but what I've seen isn't doubt, it's complete and utter ineffectiveness.  I certainly hope things get better, but I can't possibly see a way that's possible, and that's the problem.

CecilColeman wrote on September 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Who says MT will be around that long?

Salt Life wrote on September 23, 2012 at 9:09 am
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Why is it so many long suffering Illini fans (like Cub fans) are so patient and willing to accept mediocrity, bad teams and bad coaches year in and year out. When I see teams like Arizona State and OSU start with a bang right out of the gate and here Illinois has already been blown out and thoroughly humiliated by two of their opponents. Only at a few schools like Illinois are coaches given time way beyond what they would at other more competitive schools to continue proving how incompetent they are to be coaching a high major D-1 school in the Big Ten. There were a slew of better coaches I thought Thomas could get if he was truly motivated, sincere and convincing but instead he chose Beckman and Beckman in turn chose a horrid staff. Thomas and Beckman insulted and demoted Koenning, so he went elsewhere and it is telling in the Illini defense this year. I'm convinced Koenning would have been a better head coach, especially if he would have brought in an awesome offensive coordinator to handle the other side of the ball to go with his nationally top 10 rated defenses. Oh well, the long suffering Illini fans get no reprieve. Beckman's reign so far is looking as bad or worse than the awful head coaches that came before him in the past decade. Illini continue to be a punchline.