The Illini revealed another set of sweet threads as they sported white pants, white shirts, and orange helmets. Yet once again, their sick jersey combos did not help their play on the field.
The uneventful first half ended in a stalemate at 7-7. The Illini looked solid in the first half on both sides of the ball, except for a small hiccup by Nathan Scheelhaase. After Steve Hall intercepted Joel Stave he returned the ball to the Wisconsin 30 yard line. Scheelhaase took over and threw an interception on a weak throw and a poor decision. Josh Ferguson showed his potential with a great catch on an under-thrown ball to set up the Illini’s first touchdown. He needs to be utilized more in the rushing game as he only had three rush attempts for one yard in the first half.
Halfway through the third quarter the game was halted, crowd silenced, and breaths held as Terry Hawthorne laid lifeless on the field after he collided with a Wisconsin receiver. Hawthorne left on a stretcher and in an ambulance. Hawthorne was in bad shape as they unscrewed his face mask and loaded him into the ambulance.
Coach Tim Beckman commented on Hawthorne’s progress by saying, “Great news, great news for Terry, just a blessing, the CT scan was negative and he will be on the flight back home with us.”
Play resumed and Wisconsin would cap that drive with a field goal. They went on to take the game on a Montee Ball eight-yard touchdown run and a 59-yard bomb to Jared Abbrederis. Abbrederis recorded his third consecutive 100-yard performance during the game. The Illini’s inability to throw downfield continued to hurt them as they tried to get a quick score to get back in the game. The Badgers exploded in the second half and simply left the Illini behind. Illinois appeared to be making a game out of it until Wisconsin scored on back to back possessions.
“We’ve got to be able to respond when something doesn’t occur the way that we want it to occur,” said Coach Beckman. “We’ve got to learn to react in a positive way and learn to fight for four quarters.”
Beckman was caught on camera putting in chewing tobacco for the game. No sanctions on Beckman yet, but we can assume there will be some fines for him there.
“That’s a bad habit of mine and I apologize for that,” he said.
Well coach, unfortunately losing looks to be a habit of yours as well. The Illini have dropped four of their last five games.
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