Illini Fall to Louisana Tech 52-24
By Rob McColley
Illini football is wandering in the desert. For the last three weeks, the big questions concerned injuries, beginning with quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase. Saturday night in Champaign, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs proved — and quickly — that Nathan Scheelhaase is not the savior of Illini football.
"Lah-Tech" buried the Illini 52-24 before a dispassionate crowd at Memorial Stadium, which was announced at 46,539 paid, but something less attending.
Scheelhaase started, seeing action for the first time since the season opener on September 1st. He completed 8 of 11 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown.
All that came in the first quarter of the blowout loss. Scheelhaase also threw an interception, and fumbled the ball before giving way to Reilly O'Toole for the remainder of the game. O'Toole completed 19 of 25 for 120 yards. He was sacked four times, and also fumbled. Illinois gave up six turnovers in all. The Bulldog defense sacked Illinois' quarterbacks five times.
Bulldogs quarterback Colby Cameron threw for 284 yards, completing 15 of 24 including four touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns were caught by Quinton Patton, who finished with a game-high 164 yards. Josh Ferguson led the Illini with 84 yards receiving on ten catches. Ryan Lankford caught five passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Louisiana Tech's defense was not ranked among the top 100 NCAA Division 1 programs coming into the game.
The Bulldogs are now 3-0 on the season. Illinois is 2-2. The Illini begin Big Ten Conference play next week at home versus Penn State.