A quick look at Illinois, plus its game notes and depth chart for Saturday:
ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (2-0)
3 P.M. SATURDAY, SOLDIER FIELD, BIG TEN NETWORK, 950-AM
COACH: Tim Beckman (4-10 with Illinois, 25-26 overall; 2nd season with Illinois)
AGAINST THE HUSKIES: Washington leads 5-4. The last time the teams played was 1972, and Washington won 31-11 in Seattle.
WASHINGTON CONNECTIONS: None.
SCOUTING REPORT: After a rickety first game against lowly FCS opponent Southern Illinois, the Illini surprised most last Saturday when they took it to Cincinnati. Illinois blew out the Bearcats 45-17. The win was a large one in multiple ways for Illinois, which had lost nine consecutive games to close last season and Cincinnati coming off a strong win over Purdue. Illinois averaged just 16.7 points per game last year, but is averaging 43.5 points per game two weeks into this season. The engine of the offense is QB Nate Scheelhaase, who is completing a ludicrous 74 percent of his passes. Illinois is a pass-first offense that sets up the run. The Illini’s top two backs have just 40 carries in two games. Compare that to Washington, which ran the ball 54 times in its first game. The Illini have showed a propensity for early deep shots on offense, too. Defensively, Illinois drops a lot of defenders into coverage, often playing Cover-2 and Cover-3.
DID YOU KNOW: Washington has played a Big Ten opponent only once since 2003.
Passing Att Comp Pct. Yards TDs INT
Nathan Scheelhaase 54 73 74.0 728 6 1
Rushing Att Yards Avg. TD
Josh Ferguson 18 96 5.3 0
Receiving Rec Yards Avg. TD
Josh Ferguson 6 158 26.3 2
Punting Punts Avg. Blk
Justin DuVernois 9 40.3 0
Field goals Att Made Lg
Taylor Zalewski 3 4 33
Aug. 31 W, 42-34 vs. Illinois
Sept. 7 W, 45-17 vs. Cincinnati
Sept. 14 vs. No. 19 Washington, 3 p.m.
Sept. 28 vs. Miami (OH), TBD
Oct. 5 at No. 23 Nebraska, 9 a.m.
Oct. 19 vs. No. 20 Wisconsin, 5 p.m.
Oct. 26 vs. Michigan State, 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 2 at Penn State, TBD
Nov. 9 at Indiana, TBD
Nov. 16 vs. No. 4 Ohio State, TBD
Nov. 30 vs. No. 17 Northwestern, TBD