Illinois Postgame Notes


Sept. 11, 2010

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ILLINOIS Postgame Notes
Illinois 35, Southern Illinois 3
Memorial Stadium // Sept. 11, 2010 // 52,217

1. Three Illini true-freshmen played for the first time tonight: LB Jonathan Brown, WR Ryan Lankford, QB Miles Osei, bringing the total of true-freshman who have played this year to seven. Redshirt-freshman DE Tim Kynard also saw the field for the first time, giving Illinois 17 players who have played for the first time in their careers in 2010.

2. Mikel Leshoure topped the career 1,000-yard rushing mark tonight. He ran for 115 yards, giving him 1,087 for his career. Leshoure is the 36th Illini in school history to rush for 1,000 yards.

3. Leshoure recorded his fifth career 100-yard game and third consecutive with tonight's 115-yard rushing performance.

4. Leshoure rushed for two TDs against SIU, scoring on 8- and 1-yard runs. That equaled his career high of two TDs initially set last season vs. Fresno State.

5. Nathan Scheelhaase also recorded two scores with a pair of TD passes, tossing a career-long 54-yard strike to A.J. Jenkins and a 33-yarder to Justin Lattimore.

6. Scheelhaase excelled in just his second collegiate game. He totaled 229 yards passing with two TDs and had an impressive 77.8 completion percentage, connecting on 14-of-18 throws.

7. A.J. Jenkins tallied a career-high five receptions against the Salukis and had his second career 100-yard game, finishing with 114 yards, just three shy of his career best (117 yards vs. Minnesota in 2008).

8. Jenkins' 54-yard catch on the 1st-quarter touchdown equaled the longest reception of his career.

9. Justin Lattimore's 33-yard TD reception marked the first touchdown of his career on just his first career catch.

10. Evan Wilson and Ryan Lankford also notched the first catches of their careers, with Wilson hauling in a 34-yarder and Lankford nabbing a 10-yard pass.

11. Illinois showed great balance on offense, totaling 407 yards with 239 passing and 168 rushing. The Illini were very effective offensively, averaging 6.3 yards per play.

12. The Illini defense held SIU to just 46 yards rushing on 29 carries, an average of only 1.6 yards per carry. It's the second time this year and third time in Illinois' last four games that the Illini held their opponent under 100 rushing yards.

13. The Illini defense also had four sacks, a total of nine tackles-for-loss and forced three fumbles, recovering two. Illinois also held SIU to 3-of-16 third-down conversions.

14. Travon Bellamy led the Illini with a team-high seven tackles. Four Illini - Ashante Williams, Jonathan Brown, Justin Green and Tavon Wilson - posted five tackles apiece.

15. Anthony Santella, who entered tonight's game ranked ninth in the nation in punt average, averaged 50.8 yards per punt tonight, the best single-game average of his career. Santella boomed three punts more than 50 yards, highlighted by a 57-yarder in the first quarter.

16. Illinois won its 13th straight home opener and improved to 12-0 all-time against in-state public universities.

17. Whitney Mercilus earned his first career start tonight and responded with his first full quarterback sack, 2.0 TFLs, a forced fumble, a QB hurry and a pass broken up. Justin Staples also recorded his first career QB sack.