Postgame Notes - Illinois vs. Youngstown State, August 30, 2014

Wes Lunt
Wes Lunt
Aug. 30, 2014

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Illinois Postgame Notes
Illinois 28, Youngstown State 17
Memorial Stadium // Aug. 30, 2014 // Attendance: 36,234

Team Notes

1. With today's win over Youngstown State, the Illini have won 17 consecutive home openers, the fourth-longest streak in the Big Ten as of this afternoon. Head coach Tim Beckman is now 3-0 in home openers as head coach at Illinois.

2. Illinois won its first-ever meeting with YSU and is now 14-0 all-time against FCS teams.

3. Illinois scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, equaling the most points scored in the final quarter in 32 years since putting up 22 points on Oct. 2, 1982, at Minnesota. The Illini have posted 21 points in the fourth quarter nine times since 1982: Aug. 30, 2014 vs. Youngstown State; Oct. 1, 2011 vs. Northwestern; Oct. 4, 2008 at Michigan; Nov. 3, 2001 at Purdue; Oct. 13, 2001 at Indiana; Nov. 18, 2000 at Northwestern; Oct. 23, 1999 at Michigan; Nov. 18, 1995 vs. Minnesota; Oct. 1, 1988 at Ohio State.

4. The Illini defense stiffened in the red zone, as it limited the Penguins to three field goals and a touchdown in four trips inside the Illinois 20-yard. On the opposite side of the ball, the UI offense found success in the red zone, earning touchdowns on all three trips.

5. UI also held the advantage on third-down conversions (8-of-15, 53.3%) compared to YSU (5-of-19, 26.3%).

6. Illinois wore white helmets in a game for the first time in school history.

Individual Notes

1. Sophomore quarterback Wes Lunt turned in the best Illini quarterback debut in terms of passing yards (285) and touchdowns (4) in school history. His first three TD passes put the Illini back in front while his final one sealed the 28-17 victory. Lunt shined in the fourth quarter, going 9-of-11 for 155 yards and three touchdowns.

2. Lunt's first career touchdown pass as an Illini was an eight-yard reception to senior Jon Davis to give Illinois a 7-3 lead in the second quarter. He added another eight-yard TD pass to freshman Mike Dudek for a 14-9 lead at the start of the fourth quarter followed by a 15-yard TD pass to junior Josh Ferguson for a 21-17 advantage. The final score came on a 29-yard TD pass to senior Martize Barr.

3. Lunt spread the wealth throughout the game, as nine different Illini receivers caught a pass and his four TD passes went to four different receivers. He finished 24-of-38 and posted two 40-plus yard plays to Illini newcomers on a 49-yard pass to Dudek and a 42-yard pass to junior wide receiver Geronimo Allison.

4. Dudek led the Illini receiving corps in his debut, collecting 61 yards on three receptions that included a leaping 49-yard grab. His first career catch was an eight-yard touchdown reception.

5. Ferguson and freshman Malik Turner each hauled in four catches to lead the Illini in receptions.

6. Newcomers to the Illini receiving corps - Allison, Dudek, and Turner - accounted for nine receptions and 146 yards.

7. Sophomore V'Angelo Bentley delivered the second-longest kickoff return of his career, going for 67 yards in the second quarter to set up the first Illini touchdown.

8. Senior Austin Teitsma totaled a career-high nine tackles, including a career-best 2.5 TFLs and half a sack.

9. Sophomore defensive back Taylor Barton tallied a career-high 13 tackles, including two touchdown-saving stops where he ran down a receiver.

10. Sophomore linebacker Carroll Phillips registered his first career sack in his debut as an Illini.

11. Illinois had 10 players make their Illini debuts on Saturday: two true-freshmen (Mike Dudek, Malik Turner), one sophomore (Michael Martin) and seven transfers (Geronimo Allison, Clayton Fejedelem, Joe Fotu, Dallas Hinkhouse, Wes Lunt, Carroll Phillips, Jihad Ward).