Cleat Geeks

Illini “strike” early & often in victory over Flashes

I cannot imagine how hard it is to lose your head coach just a week before the opener.

Former Illinois head coach Tim Beckham was fired after the preliminary results of an internal investigation substantiated accusations of gross player mistreatment. The investigation found that he’d forced players to play through serious injuries and had the medical staff clear these players too soon.  Upon the firing, Beckman said those allegations were “utterly false” and suggested he might take legal action, calling the decision to fire him “a rush to judgment that confirms the university’s bad faith.”  Bill Cubit, who was hired as offensive coordinator in 2013, will take over as the team’s interim coach for the 2015 season.

Despite this distraction and a complete shock to Fighting Illini nation, the show must go on.  Illinois hosted Kent State on Friday night to kick-off the 2015 season.  The game was delayed and postponed due to lightening.  So on Saturday afternoon, the Illini finally got to take the field at Memorial Stadium.


Illinois led 28-0 after the first quarter, something the school says hasn’t happened since at least 1960.  Junior quarterback Wes Lunt, from Rochester IL, threw three TDs in the first quarter.  RB Josh Ferguson made it 27-0 with 1:53 on an 11 yard touchdown.

Wes Lunt finished the day 11/19 with 162 yards and 4 touchdowns.

   Josh Ferguson ran for 76 yards on 12 carries and added the first quarter touchdown to this blowout win.

After going 2-9 last season, Kent St. was looking to get back on track.  They could never get anything going.  The brightest spot for Kent State has to be Shayne Hynes’ 43-yard field goal with 8:30 left in the game, avoiding the shutout. The Flashes had two touchdowns wiped out by penalties, and Illinois blocked a second-quarter field goal attempt.

The Illini defense had a great day. Only giving up 245 yards, coach Cubit made sure there success never went unnoticed: “I told my staff that when they get a three-and-out I want every staff member out there congratulating them,” Cubit said. “I want them to feel like when they’re coming off that they did an unbelievable job.”

The Fighting Illini will host the Western Illinois Leathernecks this Saturday at 11 am.

WIU is coming off a big victory vs. Eastern Illinois, which they won 33-5.    Running back Devon Moore scored two touchdowns on 23 carries for 54 yards.  Both teams should be geared up and ready to go coming off big wins.  It will be a battle for 2-0 this weekend and it all comes down to who wants it more!









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