Illinois Rolls Past Charleston Southern, 44-0
By Jeff Bossert
Illini quarterback Reilly O'Toole set an Illinois completion percentage record on Saturday's 44-0 defeat of Charleston Southern.
Filling in for the recovering Nathan Scheelhaase, O'Toole hit receivers on 26 of 31 attempts for 333 yards and five touchdowns.
Ryan Lankford caught two of those scoring passes, and totaled 97 yards in receptions.
Scheehaase missed his second consecutive game with an ankle injury. Other starters not playing due to injury included center Graham Pocic (knee), running back Josh Ferguson (concussion), and linebacker Houston Bates (leg.)
A group of backups gained experience in the blowout.
Illini coach Tim Beckman marveled at the number of wounded Illini, and the effect it had on the team - especially him.
"I haven't slept at all," he said. "Other than that, it is challenging. You look out there, you see young men that our injured. It's just one of things you have to adapt through. You have to push your young players to perform. You as a coach have to simplify things because you don't have veteran in there."
Freshman Dami Ayoola led the Illini in rushing with 56 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.
The Charleston Southern Buccaneers fell to 0-3.
The Illini (2-1) return to action next Saturday night in Champaign against Louisiana Tech.