Illinois-Charleston Southern Postgame Notes

Reilly O'Toole had a record-breaking day for the Illini.
Reilly O'Toole had a record-breaking day for the Illini.

Sept. 15, 2012

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Illinois Postgame Notes

Illinois 44, Charleston Southern 0
Memorial Stadium // Sept. 15, 2012 // Attendance: 45,369

Team Notes

1. With today's win over Charleston Southern, Illinois is now 12-0 all-time again FCS teams (formally I-AA), with an average margin of victory of 33 points per game. All but one of those wins have been by at least 21 points.
2. Illinois recorded its first shutout since beating Western Illinois 21-0 on Sept. 8, 2007. The 44-0 win today was the largest margin of victory in a shutout since beating Wisconsin 51-0 on Nov. 13, 1965.
3. In addition to the shutout, Illinois' defense held Charleston Southern to 125 yards on the day, the fewest by an opponent in a year, since South Dakota State had 96 yards on Sept. 10, 2001. Fifty-four of the Buccaneers' 125 yards came on one play, and CSU had just 29 yards passing despite 17 attempts. Illinois also held its opponent to less than 100 yards rushing for the second time in three games this season.
4. Illinois held CSU to an 0-for-13 effort on third down, improving the Illini's third-down defense for the season to a 24.3 percent conversion rate (9-for-37).
5. The Orange and Blue recorded 365 passing yards today, the most since UI passed for 391 against Northwestern on Oct. 1, 2011, a span of 11 games. Illinois also racked up 479 total yards, its most since posting 518 at Indiana on Oct. 8, 2011.

Individual Notes

1. Sophomore quarterback Reilly O'Toole had a record-breaking day while making his second career start, setting the Illini single-game completion record of .839 (26-of-31). O'Toole also passed for five touchdowns, the first UI quarterback to do so since Juice Williams vs. Missouri on Aug. 30, 2008. O'Toole had a career-high 333 passing yards as well, shattering his previous career high of 63 yards last season at Minnesota.
2. Junior receiver Ryan Lankford had a career game as well, with two touchdown receptions and seven catches for 97 yards. Lankford's previous best reception total was 64 yards against Western Michigan in the 2012 opener.
3. True freshman Justin Hardee posted career highs of five catches for 98 yards, including a career-long 48-yarder in the third quarter, which was Illinois' longest of the day.
4. Freshman Dami Ayoola rushed for the first touchdown of his career on a 28-yard run in the second quarter. Ayoola led Illinois with a career-high 55 yards rushing on eight carries.
5. Illinois spread the wealth offensively, as 10 different players had at least one catch and seven different players had at least one carry. In addition, four different Illini players caught a touchdown pass, marking the first time that had happened since Illinois' 44-10 win over Purdue on Oct. 30, 2010.
6. Freshman linebacker Mason Monheim recorded the first interception of his career, picking off Charleston Southern's Derek Hatcher in the first quarter and returning it for 20 yards to set up the Illini's first touchdown. Monheim also had a career-high five tackles.
7. Sophomore Ralph Cooper tied for the team lead in tackles, registering a career-high six stops, with two TFLs. Ashante Williams equaled Cooper with six tackles.
8. Redshirt freshman kicker Taylor Zalewski scored the first points of his career today. He had four PATs and made a 47-yard field goal in the third quarter in his first career attempt.
9. Sophomore Justin DuVernois had a solid day as well, posting a career best-tying 43.8-yard average on four punts, including a long of 54 yards and two downed inside the 20.
10. Ten Illini played in their first game for the Orange and Blue today, one true-freshmen (Ta'Jarvis Fuller), seven redshirt-freshmen (Peter Bonahoom, Patrick Flavin, Zepheniah Grimes, Scott McDowell, Nick North, John Valentine, Jeremey Whitlow), one redshirt sophomore (Nick Forzley) and one senior (James Hallendorff).
11. Illinois had two players make their first career start today in junior Jake Feldmeyer and freshman Mason Monheim.