Recap: Illinois vs. Cincinnati
Champaign, IL (Sports Network) - Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns as the Illinois Fighting Illini thumped the Cincinnati Bearcats, 45-17, in non-conference action from Memorial Stadium.
Eleven different players caught at least one pass for the Fighting Illini (2-0), who were coming off a 42-34 win over Southern Illinois in their season opener. Donovonn Young carried 14 times for 64 yards and a score in the victory.
The Bearcats (1-1) were making their first-ever trip to Memorial Stadium under new head coach Tommy Tuberville. Senior Munchie Legaux, who beat out Brendan Kay for Cincinnati's starting quarterback job, was carted off the field in the fourth quarter and taken to a nearby hospital after suffering a leg injury. He had thrown for 237 yards and ran for a team-high 52 prior to the injury.
Illinois struck first, as Scheelhaase found Josh Ferguson for a 48-yard scoring strike at the 5:45 mark of the opening quarter.
Ryan Lankford's 29-yard touchdown scamper made it a 14-0 game with 12:47 remaining in the second quarter.
The Illini stretched their lead to 21-0 on a 23-yard scoring strike from Scheelhaase to Evan Wilson midway through the second quarter to cap a 10-play, 76-yard drive.
Cincinnati got on the scoreboard just before the half, as Legaux threw a one- yard touchdown pass to Max Morrison with eight seconds on the clock.
The Bearcats cut the deficit to 21-10 on Tony Milano's 37-yard field goal at the 11:02 mark of the third quarter.
Later in the third quarter, Scheelhaase punctuated a 12-play, 99-yard drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Steve Hull.
Cincinnati continued to hang around, as Ralph Abernathy scored on a 13-yard run to make it a 28-17 game with 1:34 remaining in the quarter.
However, Illinois began to take control in the final frame. Taylor Zalewski kicked a 19-yard field goal with just under 10 minutes to play and, after the defense forced a three-and-out, Scheelhaase found Martize Barr for a 26-yard touchdown pass to go on top, 38-17, with 8:23 to play in regulation. Young closed out the scoring with an eight-yard TD run late in the contest.
Illinois held a nearly 13-minute edge in time of possession as the offense converted 9-of-15 third downs en route to 522 total yards from scrimmage.Game Notes