Daniels: Spring game breakdown

Beat writer Matt Daniels breaks down the good and the bad from Saturday's spring game.

Three things that went right

1 Paul James. The Miami product might have played last year if his grades were better. Maybe. We’ll never know. What we do know is that James could contend for some playing time after he compiled a team-high four tackles for loss, including two sacks.

2 Takeaways. The defense forced three on the day, with interceptions by V’Angelo Bentley and Zeph Grimes and a fumble recovery by James. More of that when the season starts in four months is what Illinois supporters would love to see.

3 Reilly O’Toole. In his final spring game, the 2010 News-Gazette All-State Player of the Year played well. He had the best day of the three quarterbacks, completing 12 of 17 passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

Three things that went wrong

1 Wes Lunt’s first series. The ballyhooed Rochester product struggled when he did throw the ball. Zeph Grimes made a name for himself with an interception on Lunt’s second pass. Not exactly the great start many Illinois fans were hoping for.

2 Lunt’s receivers. He had three straight passes — two to roommate Tyler White and one to Devin Church — that were dropped in the first half. Illinois will need to adjust to the velocity that Lunt has on his throws before the fall rolls around.

3 Orange team offense. Aaron Bailey, Chayce Crouch and Man Berg received the snaps for the Orange. Didn’t have much to show for it, though, outside of a 2-yard touchdown scramble by Bailey. It wasn’t all their fault, but the Orange had difficult moving the ball all game long.

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