Scheelhaase turned in the 10th-best single-game passing performance in school history in the win over SIU.
Sep 2, 2013
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - University of Illinois senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (Kansas City, Mo./Rockhurst) was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Monday for his performance in the season-opening victory over Southern Illinois Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Scheelhaase completed 28-of-36 passes for a career-high 416 yards against the Salukis, the 10th-best single-game passing performance in school history and the fifth-most ever by an Illinois quarterback at Memorial Stadium. His career day included two touchdown strikes, a 53-yard catch and run to Josh Ferguson and an 11-yarder to Jon Davis, and seven plays of 20-plus yards.
Scheelhaase racked up 340 of his 416 passing yards in the first half, marking the most ever for an Illini in the first half and equaling the most in any half since Juice Williams totaled 340 passing yards in the second half against Minnesota on Oct. 11, 2008.
With his 389 yards of total offense against SIU, Scheelhaase moved ahead of Jason Verduzco (7,256 yards) into the No. 4 spot in career total offense at Illinois with 7,480 yards. Scheelhaase also passed Johnny Johnson and moved into No. 7 on the all-time career touchdown passes list with 36. He ranks fourth in career passing efficiency (127.2), sixth in passing yardage (5,712), sixth in completions (516), sixth in attempts (836) and 19th in rushing yardage (1,768) - second among quarterbacks - at Illinois.
It marks the second time Scheelhaase has been honored as Big Ten Player of the Week. The other came on Nov. 1, 2010, after going for 313 total yards and throwing four touchdown passes in a win over Purdue during his redshirt-freshman season. The last Illini to win B1G Offensive Player of the Week honors was A.J. Jenkins on Oct. 3, 2011.
Other Big Ten weekly honorees this week include Northwestern linebacker Collin Ellis (Defensive), Penn State kicker Sam Ficken (Special Teams) and Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Freshman).
The Illini are back in action this Saturday when Cincinnati comes to Memorial Stadium for an 11 a.m. CT kick. Tickets are available for as low as $39. The Fighting Illini also will host the Chicago Homecoming game against Washington at historic Soldier Field next Saturday, Sept. 14. Tickets for the Chicago Homecoming game start at $30 and are on sale now.