UI grade vs. SIU: C minus (w/video)

UI grade vs. SIU: C minus (w/video)

Beat writer Macus Jackson's take on Saturday's 42-34 Illini win against Southern Illinois:



Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois.

They’ve been playing football at Illinois since 1890 and never has one of the program’s quarterbacks thrown for more than 300 yards in the first half of a game. The fifth-year senior did that and more Saturday and looked poised for a memorable final season in Champaign.



Illinois B-

Southern Illinois B

Scheelhaase and his 416 yards saved this one for the Illini, who couldn’t get anything going on the ground, netting just 49 yards rushing against the FCS opponent.



Illinois D

Southern Illinois D

If the Salukis can light it up through the air, what are Cincinnati, Washington and the Big Ten foes going to do against the Illini secondary going forward?



Illinois A

Southern Illinois C

Miles Osei returned a punt for 18 yards and V’Angelo Bentley’s 100-yard kickoff return for a TD was the first at Illinois since 2008. Special teams success has been a foreign concept in recent years.



Illinois C-

Southern Illinois A

There’s no excuse for being taken to the wire by an in-state FCS opponent. None. The defense has to improve in a hurry and the running game must find some traction to take the pressure off Scheelhaase and Co. A win’s a win, though, right?


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Jam wrote on August 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm

This is to critical of an assessment In my opinion.  What really did you expect to happen today?  For years and years these teams (FCS) have come in and played like crazy and sometimes even won.  This UI team will be challenged all year and it certainly is reasonable to expect a reasonable analysis by the NG sportswriters.

Dan Bloeme wrote on August 31, 2013 at 6:08 pm

This is going to be another long football season. Illini look like a mediocre MAC team. Oh wait isn't Illinois in the Big Ten. Yup, this going to be another long, long season. Doubt they win 2 games all year. This could be Beckman's last season.

uofix3 wrote on September 01, 2013 at 9:09 am

How did the Special Teams earn an A?

Yes, the kickoff return was great but there were also two shanked punts, an abysmal 6.3 yards per punt return allowed (albeit better than last year's even more abysmal third-from-last rated FBS unit) and a 60 yard kickoff return by SIU.

Bob Patterson wrote on September 03, 2013 at 12:09 am
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From what I saw, I believe that is the only game we will win all year.  New coach next year.  When we play the big boys it isn't going to look pretty.  No special team game again, no rushing attack, poor defense.  Not going to be a fun year.

Moonpie wrote on September 03, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Yep, a very long season. I don't see how they get three wins. Maybe three at the most optimistic. Next season -- new head coach Bill Cubit.