Postgame Notes - Illinois vs. Southern Illinois - August 31, 2013

Scheelhaase had a career day passing against the Salukis.
Scheelhaase had a career day passing against the Salukis.

Aug 31, 2013

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Illinois Postgame Notes
Illinois 42, Southern Illinois 34
Memorial Stadium // Aug. 31, 2013 // Attendance: 42,175

Team Notes

1. With today's win over Southern Illinois, the Illini have won 16 consecutive home openers, including the first two season openers under head coach Tim Beckman. Illinois is now 4-0 all-time against SIU, 13-0 all-time against FCS teams and 14-0 against the other public universities in the state.

2. Illinois scored its first two touchdowns of the season in the span of 29 seconds in the second quarter (Josh Ferguson 53-yard TD reception, forced fumble and Donovonn Young 2-yard rushing TD).

3. Illinois had two 100-yard receivers (Lankford - 115, Ferguson - 103) for the first time since A.J. Jenkins (148) and Darius Millines (119) against Arkansas State on Sept. 3, 2011.

Individual Notes

1. Senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase turned in a career-high 416 passing yards, which ranks as the 10th-highest single-game total in school history and surpasses his previous personal best of 391 yards. His 416 yards also rank as the fifth-most ever by an Illinois quarterback at Memorial Stadium and the first 400-yard game since Juice Williams set the Memorial Stadium record with 462 passing yards against Minnesota on Oct. 11, 2008.

2. Scheelhasse's 340 passing yards in the first half also marked the first time an Illinois quarterback has eclipsed 300 passing yards in a half since Juice Williams totaled 340 passing yards in the second half against Minnesota on Oct. 11, 2008.

3. With his 389 yards of total offense, Scheelhaase moved ahead Jason Verduzco (7,256 yards) into the No. 4 spot in career total offense with 7,480 yards. Scheelhaase also passed Johnny Johnson (35 career TD passes) and moved into No. 7 on the all-time career touchdown passes list with 36.

4. Sophomore V'Angelo Bentley notched the longest kickoff return by a single player in school history and equaled the longest touchdown in Illinois history with his 100-yard kickoff return, matching the record set by Travis Williams and Eugene Wilson, who combined for 100 yards on a lateral play, against Purdue on Oct. 12, 2002. It also marked Illinois' first kick return TD since A.J. Jenkins (96 yards) against Indiana on Oct. 18, 2008.

5. Sophomore running back Josh Ferguson posted his first career 100-yard receiving game with 103 yards on four catches, highlighted by a career-long 53-yard touchdown reception, the first TD catch of his career.

6. Senior wide receiver Ryan Lankford notched a career-high 115 receiving yards, marking his second career 100-yard receiving game. His previous high was 104 yards against Penn State on Sept. 29, 2012.

7. Freshman quarterback Aaron Bailey barreled into the end zone for his first career touchdown on a 2-yard rush in the third quarter.

8. Senior Steve Hull played wide receiver for the first time in his career, hauling in two catches for 64 yards. Hull spent his redshirt season as a receiver before switching to safety prior to the 2010 season.

9. Senior Tim Russell converted his third career 2-point conversion (second passing). His other two came at Ohio State in 2012.

10. Senior Tim Kynard forced his first career fumble, while junior Houston Bates recovered his third career fumble.

11. Illinois had 20 players make their Illini debuts on Saturday: six true-freshmen (Aaron Bailey, Jaylen Dunlap, Darius Mosely, Dionte Taylor, Dawuane Smoot, Tyler White), 10 redshirt-freshmen (Robbie Bain, Taylor Barton, B.J. Bello, Devin Church, Cedric Doxy, Zach Hirth, Jevaris Little, T.J. Neal, Joe Spencer, LaKeith Walls), one sophomore (Tim Clary) and three transfers (Martize Barr, Abe Cajuste, Zane Petty).