Wisconsin 31, UI 14: 'We have to keep working'

Wisconsin 31, UI 14: 'We have to keep working'

MADISON, Wis. — When the Wisconsin student section bounced up and down to House of Pain’s “Jump Around” at the start of the fourth quarter, the Illinois players confidently bounced around with them.

Trailing 10-7 entering the final period at Camp Randall is a position most teams would accept if it was offered up in the pregame.

But 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball (19 carries, 116 yards, two TDs) found the end zone 90 seconds later and Jared Abbrederis (seven receptions, 117 yards, TD) added a touchdown reception two minutes after that as Wisconsin extended its home win streak to 20 games with a 31-14 win in front of 80,096 on Saturday.

“I was proud the way we played the first half. We didn’t come out and do what we needed to do in the second half,” Illinois coach Tim Beckman said. “I know that this football team is hurting, there’s no question about that. We’ve just got to be able to respond when something doesn’t occur the way we want it to occur; it kind of snowballs on us.”

The Illini (2-4, 0-2 Big Ten) maintained all week that back-to-back blowout losses at home to Louisiana Tech and Penn State didn’t shake their confidence. And for three quarters, Beckman’s squad played like a self-assured one.

But the result was the same. The trick now is to muster fortitude to compete on the road next at Michigan.

“We’ve just got to keep doing the right things,” defensive tackle Akeem Spence said. “We can’t have (any) dropoff. I know we all hate this feeling, but at the same time we have to keep working, even though we’re losing. If we slack off, this thing can get ugly.”

There was an ugly moment midway through the third quarter when Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne lay motionless on the Camp Randall turf after delivering a big hit.

Hawthorne was taken from the field by an ambulance, but his prognosis is good.

“Great news, I mean a blessing. Great news for Terry,” Beckman said. “The CT scan was negative and he will be on the flight back home with us, so that’s great news.”

The rest of it wasn’t so great for Illinois, which showed some desperation with its offensive personnel packages at times. A spread offense, Illinois showcased formations featuring multiple tight ends and a fullback in an effort to create a spark.

But the leading Illini rusher was quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (22 carries, 84 yards, TD; 18-for-29 passing, 178 yards, TD) while running backs Donovonn Young and Josh Ferguson combined to carry the ball 11 times for 16 yards against the Badgers (4-2, 1-1).

“We’re trying to find things that can be successful for us; if that’s getting in the I (formation) or getting in the (wish) bone, the three-back set, just trying to find ways to utilize the personnel that we have and try to get things that can be successful,” Beckman said.

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports


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Railsplitter wrote on October 07, 2012 at 4:10 am

Try finding someone who can deliver the pass on time with velocity and where the reciever can catch it and you MIGHT have something . Until then expect more of the same results.

JimOATSfan wrote on October 07, 2012 at 8:10 am

If I was a defensive co-ordinator in the B1G game planning for the Illini, I would tell our defense that we want Scheelhaase running the ball 20 times and passing on the short routes.  We can contain him.

A sure formula for a win against the Illini.

geriatricillini wrote on October 07, 2012 at 8:10 am

Giving up 21 points in a quarter is a death sentence....it's a 60 minute game, not 45 minutes. We have played 4 legitimate teams and have been outscored 163-59...giving up almost 41 points a game and only scoring about 15 won't get a win for anyone. I thought the defense was gonna give us our best chance to win...what happened?  One can't cry injuries every week..it must be the system that's wrong or the players aren't that good...maybe it's both. Will we ever win a Big 10 game this season? Don't count the Indiana game as win...they can beat us ya know...any other games on that schedule where we can maybe get one? I don't see one, do you?

illinifaningeorgia wrote on October 07, 2012 at 4:10 pm


Early line on the next game:  Michigan by 21


PeterE wrote on October 07, 2012 at 10:10 am

"If we slack off, this thing can get ugly.”  Said after 4th Illini blowout.


Umm pardon me, but it seems this season already got ugly 3 blowouts ago.

illinifaningeorgia wrote on October 07, 2012 at 11:10 am

I've been saying all along, Scheelhaase is not the answer.  In the Penn State game, he threw 2 INT's because he stared down the primary receiver, thereby giving the defense an easy read of where the ball was going.

In the Wisconsin game, another weakness became evident.  He telegraphs the pass in the flat.  He winds up and floats the ball to the receiver, again giving the defense plenty of time to react to the play.

This is a 3-year starter.  If he is still making these types of mistakes, he won't change.  He got totally outplayed by the Freshman QB from Wisconsin.


wholdcroft wrote on October 07, 2012 at 12:10 pm
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'We have to keep working'

Good to know.  I was concerned that they would "stop working".

Coach-speak for the sheeple.  Just what the fans need...

dave1956 wrote on October 07, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I agree. after a final record of 2-10 Beckman will say at his end of the year news conference. WE just have to figure this thing out.We have to keep working.

floridaturbo wrote on October 07, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Guess we'll just have to suffer through the Valek era, and then hope for the best.  Maybe the Zooker wasn't so bad.

dave1956 wrote on October 07, 2012 at 6:10 pm

i cant believe how bad this team has gotten so quickly. Its as if everyone has forgotten how to play this game.