1st Quarter Recap: Illinois 13, C. Southern 0
llinois held Charleston Southern to 24 total yards during the first quarter and the Fighting Illini lead 13-0 at the end of the first quarter. Illinois held the Buccaneers to just nine rushing yards in the quarter.
The Fighting Illini scored when Reilly O’Toole and Ryan Lankford hooked up for a four-yard touchdown to cap off a three-play, seven-yard drive, giving Illinois the game’s first lead. An interception by Mason Monheim set the Fighting Illini up to start the drive.
Illinois made its lead 13-0 when O’Toole and Lankford combined for a five-yard touchdown on the last play of a 12-play, 54-yard drive.
The Fighting Illini will start the second quarter with possession at their own 45-yard line.
Why you should watch: I want to see if the Fighting Illini are back on track after that disastrous game at Arizona State. Can the offense move the ball? Can the defense stop anyone? Illinois can’t just beat this FCS team. It must dominate in all phases of the game to restore confidence.
Keep an eye on: The quarterback situation. QB Nathan Scheelhaase looks like he may be available after missing the ASU game with an ankle injury. But, why risk him vs. the team? If Scheelhaase sits again, Illinois will turn to Reilly O’Toole and Miles Osei, who both looked iffy last Saturday night.
Key matchup: Illinois offensive line vs. Charleston Southern front seven. Look, the Illini better be able to impose their will on the Buccaneers, with RBs Donovonn Young and Josh Ferguson having big games running. The Illini line remains a work-in-progress.
Key number: 13, losses in a row for Charleston Southern.
Key note: O’Toole had two delay-of-game penalties last week, showing his inexperience. He also had a pick. Perhaps getting him an extended look this week would be a good thing for the offense and program moving forward.
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