Aaron Bailey has three touchdowns and seven first downs on 12 carries this season.
Sept. 30, 2013
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - University of Illinois true-freshman quarterback Aaron Bailey (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week Monday for his performance in the Illini win over Miami (Ohio) Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Bailey rushed for a career-high 56 yards on six carries (9.3 ypc), scoring a touchdown and accounting for four first downs in Illinois' 50-14 win over the RedHawks. Bailey's fourth-quarter touchdown run of six yards was his third score of the season. He also picked up his first career completion on Saturday, a three-yard screen pass to Justin Hardee.
Bailey, who has played in all four games this season primarily as a short-yardage runner in key situations, got his most extensive action of the season on Saturday. He has been incredibly efficient running the ball in his limited role, scoring or recording a first down on an impressive 83 percent of his carries. Bailey's 12 carries this season have resulted in three touchdowns, seven first downs and 76 yards gained (6.3 ypc).
It marks the first Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor for Bailey and the third weekly conference accolade for an Illini this season. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was named offensive player of the week on Sept. 2 following the season-opening win over Southern Illinois and punter Justin DuVernois picked up B1G Special Teams Player of the Week honors on Sept. 16 after the Chicago Homecoming game against Washington at Soldier Field. The last Illini to earn freshman player of the week honors was linebacker Mason Monheim on Nov. 12, 2012.
Other Big Ten weekly honorees this week include Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (offensive), Iowa linebacker James Morris (defense) and Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston (special teams).
LaCosse Honored by CFPA | CFPA Awards
Junior tight end Matt LaCosse (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North) was named National TE of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards. LaCosse had three catches for a career-high 68 yards (22.7 ypc) and two touchdowns in the 50-14 win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. LaCosse found the end zone on a 2-yard catch in the first quarter and a 45-yard catch and run in the second quarter, both from quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase. LaCosse also recovered an onside kick for the Illini in the second quarter, helping to set up Illinois' third score of the day.
Looking Ahead | Tickets
The Fighting Illini open Big Ten play on Saturday, Oct. 5, by traveling to Nebraska (11 a.m. CT on ESPNU). Illinois will then have its second of two bye weeks before returning to Memorial Stadium on Oct. 19 for a prime-time matchup against Wisconsin. Coca-Cola Family 4-Pack tickets for the 7 p.m. game against the Badgers include four game tickets, four hot dogs and four drinks for just $99.