PLAY OF THE GAME
Nothing sums up a bad season like watching the backup left tackle get behind to defense to catch a 24-yard touchdown pass with nary a defender within sight. Paul Jorgensen, a 295-pound sophomore, darted up the seam uncovered to give the ‘Cats a 41-14 lead, part of a 33-0 run to end the game. It was Jorgensen’s only reception of the season.
That’s how many games Illinois coach Tim Beckman said Illinois players missed in 2012 because of injury. Stars Nathan Scheelhaase, Jonathan Brown and Terry Hawthorne were among those who were sidelined for extended periods. “The worst I’ve ever been around, but, hey, it’s college football,” Beckman said.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Illini were thoroughly embarrassed by their in-state rival in a city it so desperately wants to own. Beckman and Co. won’t have to wait long for another chance to win over the Windy City, the Illini hosting Washington State at Soldier Field in September. Good seats will be available.
Possibly changes to the coaching staff in what has the makings of a very long offseason. The Illini have lost nine straight and will have nine months to stew over it before welcoming Southern Illinois to Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31.