Illinois, EIU Claim Football Victories

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Published on September 30 2013 4:13 pm
Last Updated on September 30 2013 4:13 pm
Written by Millie Lange

Illinois Puts On Show In Win over Miami (Ohio)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (By Lexi Shurilla, fightingillini.com staff writer) -- Illinois put on a show for the dads in the building and blew out the RedHawks in a 50-14 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Dads Day at Memorial Stadium Saturday. Illinois has scored 40-plus points in three consecutive home games this season for the first time in Memorial Stadium history and its 161 points in the season's first four games are a school record. The Illini finished with 601 yards of total offense, surpassing 600 yards for the first time since 2007.

Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase completed 19-of-24 passes for 278 yards and a career-high five touchdowns, including a school-record four TDs in the second quarter. And four of those five TDs went to tight ends, with Matt LaCosse catching two, and Evan Wilson and Jon Davis each grabbing one. Illinois also rushed for 289 yards.

Illinois pounded the ball on the ground to start the game with a series of first down rushes from Josh Ferguson and Donovonn Young. Four minutes into the first quarter, Scheelhaase found LaCosse in the end zone for a two-yard touchdown pass, LaCosse's first career touchdown, putting the Illini up 7-0.

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.


Eastern Has Convincing Win Over Eastern Kentucky

On an afternoon where senior quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo cemented himself in the OVC history books, it was No. 8 Eastern Illinois defense that stole the show during a convincing 42-7 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Family Weekend at O’Brien Field.

An announced crowd of 11,469, the seventh largest in school history, watched EIU improve to 4-1 on the year, 1-0 in the OVC.  EKU, which was picked second in the OVC preseason polls, fell to 2-3 on the year, 0-1 in the OVC.  EIU heads into a bye week with the Panthers next game on Thursday, Oct. 10 at Austin Peay.

The Panthers defense shut down Eastern Kentucky pitching a shut out until the Colonels scored with 3:33 left in the game against EIU’s second and third team unit.  When EIU started to pull its starters off the field with 5:52 left in the third quarter, EIU had allowed just 140 yards of offense forcing four turnovers.

Linebacker Adam Gristick had two interceptions for EIU’s defense which now has 11 on the year.  EKU had 95 yards rushing to that point on 24 carries and only 45 yards passing.

On Sunday afternoon Jimmy Garoppolo and Anthony Goodman were named the league's Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week.  EIU heads into a bye week and will return to action Oct. 10 at Austin Peay.

Garoppolo won his fourth straight OVC Offensive Player of the Week award becoming only the second player in league history to accomplish that feat (2009 - Ryan Perrilloux of Jacksonville State).  Garoppolo became the OVC career leader in touchdown passes and passing yards on Saturday during the Panthers win.  The Walter Payton Award candidate completed 26-of-39 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns.  He leads all Division I players (FBS or FCS) with 2,053 yards passing and 23 touchdowns this season.  In the first quarter he threw his 86th career touchdown pass to pass former EIU All-American Tony Romo for the OVC record.  Garoppolo now has 88 career touchdown passes (22nd best in FCS history).  In the second quarter he passed Murray State's Casey Brockman for the OVC career passing yards record.  In the second quarter he also became the 30th FCS player to go over 10,000 yards passing (10,159).  Garoppolo moved past the 10,000 yards mark in career total offense with his current total at 10,032.

Goodman was named the OVC co-Defensive Player of the Week as part of a dominating defensive effort by the Panthers in the 42-7 victory.  He finished with a team high eight tackles as EIU limited EKU to just 266 yards of total offense (140 against the first team defense which came out of the game with five minutes left to play in the third quarter).  Goodman set a school record in the second quarter as he picked up a forced fumble by Jourdan Wickliffe and raced 70-yards for a touchdown with 23 seconds remaining in the half that put EIU up 35-0.  Goodman's fumble return for touchdown was the longest in EIU school history.