NCAA Football

Progress Report: Illinois Fighting Illini

We’re five weeks into the 2011 NCAA season so I figured I’d take a chance to review the Illinois Fighting Illini. We’re gonna celebrate their 5-0 start by showing their accomplishments thus far this season.

Illinois will start week 6 ranked #19 in the AP poll and #16 in the coaches poll. They earned this by winning their first 5 games that were all at home in Champaign, Illinois.

The results were as follows:

Illinois 33 vs. Arkansas State 15 W

Illinois 56 vs. South Dakota State 3 W
Illinois 17 vs. #22 Arizona State 14 W

#24 Illinois 23 vs. Western Michigan 20 W

#24 Illinois 38 vs. Northwestern 35 W


-First 5-0 start since 1951 (National Championship Year).

-First Big Ten Opening win after 3 straight years losing.

-Have outscored opponents 167 points to 87 points overall.

-Opponents only averaging 79 rushing yards a game.

-Kicker Derek Dimke is 100% both on field goals (7-7) and PAT (18-18).

-91% (21 of 23) in red zone scoring.

-First four games Illinois allowed 0 points in the third quarter.

-First win over ranked team (then #22 Arizona State) in 4 years.

-First no penalty game (vs. Arkansas State) since 1993.

National Overall Rankings

Passing Yards- 65th (223.8 yards/game avg.)

Rushing Yards- 22nd (209.8 yards/game avg.)

Points For- 41st (33.4 points/game avg.)

Points Against- 23rd (17.4 points/game avg.)

Team Leaders


Nathan Scheelhaase-  Passing- 68 of 98 (69.4%) for 1,028 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. QB rating 175.0

Rushing- 76 carries for 259 yards and 3 touchdowns (2nd on team)

Scheelhaase has 1,287 yards of total offense himself. He averages 257 yards of offense a game.


Troy Pollard- 25 carries for 269 yards and 1 touchdown.


A.J. Jenkins- 40 receptions for 633 yards and 5 touchdowns.


Trulon Henry- 2 interceptions, 1 interception was for a 27 yards touchdown return.

Ian Thomas- 32 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss/16 yards, 1 sack/6 yards, 1 fumble recovery

Jonathan Brown- 30 tackles, 6 tackles for loss/22 yards, 2 sacks/9 yards, 1 interception (no return), 2 breakups.