First look: Illinois
Game 2: Washington (1-0) at Illinois (1-0)*
When: 3 p.m. PT on Sept. 14
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago (capacity: 61,500)
TV: Big Ten Network**
Last meeting: UW 31, Illinois 11 at Husky Stadium in 1972 (Huskies are 5-4 all-time vs. Illinois)
Illinois record: 1-0, beat FCS Southern Illinois 42-34. *The Illini host Cincinnati (1-0) in Champaign, Ill., at 9 a.m. PT Saturday on ESPN2.
Coach: Tim Beckman (3-10, second season at Illinois; 24-26 overall as head coach, including three seasons at Toledo)
QB Nathan Scheelhaase: The fifth-year senior was named the Big Ten offensive player of the week after throwing for a career-high 416 yards in the victory over Southern Illinois, with two touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked four times. In his fourth season as the starting quarterback; has completed 61 percent of his passes for 5,296 yards with 34 TDs and 24 interceptions in his career; also has 15 rushing TDs.
WR Ryan Lankford: The 6-foot, 175 pound senior had six catches for 115 yards against Southern Illinois.
RB Josh Ferguson: The 5-10, 195-pound sophomore rushed nine times for 49 yards (with a long of 34) and had four catches for 103 yards, including a 53-touchdown reception against Southern Illinois.
DB V’Angelo Bentley: The sophomore had a 100-yard kickoff return for touchdown vs. SIU, the longest in school history and equaling the longest touchdown in Illinois history.
Notes: The win over SIU snapped a nine-game losing skid for Illinois. The Illini were 2-10 in Beckman’s first season in 2012 (0-8 in the Big Ten), and there are already rumblings about Beckman’s job security. … Sophomore RB Dami Ayoola was booted from the Illinois program on Tuesday for an unspecified violation of team rules. … With a revamped offense under new coordinator Bill Cubit, the Illini had six scrimmage plays go for 30 yards or more against the Salukis, equaling the team’s total for the entire 2012 season in one game. Only Oregon (7) had more plays of 30-plus yards in week one.
**I’ve already received several emails from folks wondering about options for watching the game on the Big Ten Network, and I’ve been planning to talk to UW officials about what they might suggest. Until then, if anyone has ideas or suggestions, please post in comments sections.