User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Illinois D has question marks after close win

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Anyone listening to coach Tim Beckman before the season knew the Illinois defense might have some problems with the pass.

Advertisement
On Saturday, the quarterback behind what is probably the most beatable team on Illinois' schedule highlighted just how big that problem might be.

Southern Illinois, led by quarterback Kory Faulkner, piled up 341 passing yards on the Illini (1-0) - 307 of them in the second half - before losing 42-34. That after Illinois led 25-7 at the half.

``I was happy, real happy with the way we played the first half,'' Beckman said. ``The second half is a whole other question.''

Next on Illinois' schedule is Cincinnati (1-0) at home on Saturday. The Bearcats, who had 222 yards on the ground and 202 more in the air in a 42-7 win over Purdue last Saturday, could be a significantly bigger challenge.

SIU didn't hurt Illinois on the ground, with just 66 yards. But the Salukis didn't have to.

SIU's passing yards and Faulkner's three touchdown passes put Illinois awfully close to joining the list of Bowl Subdivision teams that lost to their little brothers from the Championship Subdivision over Labor Day weekend.

Worse, Beckman said, the game provided a blueprint for any team to follow if the Illini don't start fixing their problems.

``We gave up the long ball too much,'' he said. ``Experience again shows that we're going to have to improve that each and every week because people are going to attack you off the things that you don't do so well every week.''

Faulkner completed a 35-yard touchdown pass, plus 66- and 39-yard gains, and he caught a 29-yarder.

Illinois started a junior, two sophomores and a redshirt freshman in the secondary, and two more freshmen saw the field. Earnest Thomas, the junior who started at strong safety, is the only defensive back with much experience.

Quarterback pressure was just as big of a problem.

The Illini never sacked Faulkner, and with just two quarterback hurries seldom pressured him.

Beckman credited the Salukis for getting the ball out of the backfield in a hurry. But he also acknowledged that Illinois will have to find a way to get to quarterbacks in the weeks ahead, and it starts with Houston Bates - who plays the Leo position, a hybrid defensive end and linebacker - and defensive end Tim Kynard.

``We've got to create ways to free up Houston Bates and free up Tim Kynard,'' he said. ``We've got to continue to add pressure with our linebackers.''

Those linebackers are the strength of defense, but were just ``decent'' against SIU, linebacker Jonathan Brown said. The defense as a whole, he acknowledged, has some work to do.

``We had like some mental lapses - guys out of positions, a couple of (missed assignments),'' he said. ``But like I said, those are things that can be fixed and will be fixed.''

Brown says he and the defense will take at least one good thing from Saturday's game. When it looked like the win was about to slip away, the young defense didn't collapse. On a fourth-and-goal with the Salukis down by eight, Faulkner threw just a few inches beyond the reach of receiver Michael Fuehne, giving the ball to Illinois for good.

``I was proud of the way we stood up and handled our business,'' Brown said. ``It's kind of good that the young guys got some experience like that.''

NOTES: Beckman hopes Injured guard Ted Karras will be available Saturday against Cincinnati, but isn't sure yet. Karras' replacement, Joe Spencer, ``did a good job'' in his first start. ... Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said part of the reason Illinois ran for just 49 yards Saturday was an SIU defense geared to stop the run. ``If a team really wants to take away the run, they're going to take away the run.'' ... Saturday's wins by FCS schools over their bigger FBS foes are a sign of where college football is headed, Beckman believes. ``It's become very balanced. Anybody has an opportunity.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Williams: ACC Report - Week 13
Edwards: Saturday's SEC Showdowns
ASA: Big Ten Report - Week 13
Rogers: Bad Company - Week 13
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 13
SportsBoss: SBPI Rankings - Week 13
Edwards: Who's Next in Gainesville?
K-State holds off West Virginia, 26-20
UNC hammers No. 25 Duke, 45-20
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAAFB Hot Streaks
38-19 L8 Saturdays, 61% +2,158
64%, +1,935 Overall This Season
8-3 L11 G-Plays, +1,808 This Year
2-0 Thursday, 17-9, +1,080 Sat.
Perfect 4-0 Last Saturday
18-9 L27 Totals, 25-15 L40 Picks
21-11 Record Last 5 Saturdays
2-0 +225 Thurs., 10-3 G-Plays TY
6-3 Record Last 2 Saturdays
6-1 Last Saturday, 7-1 L8
4-1 L2 Saturdays, 9-4 L13 Picks
6-1 L7 G-Plays, 9-5 L3 Saturdays
3-0, +325 Thursday Night
7-4 L3 Days, 11-3 L4 Fridays
7-1 Picks Last Saturday
9-3 Guaranteed Plays TY
NCAAFB College Football Expert Sports Picks- Air Force Falcons at San Diego State Aztecs
2014 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2158
Dave Cokin + 1935
Michael Black + 1808
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 738
Paul Bovi + 494
James Manos + 480
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 64 %
Kevin Rogers 61 %
The SportsBoss 60 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 700
Chip Chirimbes + 565
Kevin Rogers + 533
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1067
Kyle Hunter + 758
Tony Stoffo + 532
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1385
Kevin Rogers + 845
Greg Smith + 475
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest