The task of beating the Arizona Sun Devils on Saturday for the Illinois Fighting Illini just got a little bit tougher. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has been listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
Scheelhaase, a three-year starter, was able to practice both Wednesday and Thursday with the injury seeing some progress. Coach Tim Beckman originally stated that he would make a decision on the team’s starting quarterback for Saturday’s game in Arizona after Thursday’s practice, but today IllinoisLoyalty.com reported that the starter would be a game-time decision.
Beckman has some options to choose from if Scheelhaase can’t suit up. Backups Reilly O’Toole and Miles Osei both have playing experience. The sophomore O’Toole replaced Scheelhaase last Saturday against the Western Michigan Broncos and completed 2-of-3 passes in relief. He was also 40-of-67 for 240 yards with one score and four interceptions as a freshman.
Despite appearing in 14 games, Osei is the least experienced of the three quarterbacks as he has only completed one pass for three yards over his career.
Scheelhaase threw for 126 yards with a touchdown and an interception before the ankle injury forced him to leave last week’s game. In his career he has thrown for over 4,000 yards with 31 scores to just 17 picks. Last season Illinois bested Arizona State 17-14 on home soil and Scheelhaase ran for a team high 67 yards in that contest.
Both teams will be looking to remain undefeated after victories in each of their opening games of the 2012 campaign.