• My Scores
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • Golf
  • NCAA BB
  • NCAA FB

Louisiana Tech at Illinois

Louisiana Tech 52, Illinois 24

  •  

The Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Louisiana Tech came to Illinois Saturday averaging 56 points a game. It's safe to say Bulldogs don't need much help finding the scoreboard.

They got it anyway, from an Illinois team that couldn't hold onto the ball.

The Bulldogs (3-0) turned six Illinois turnovers and four touchdown passes from quarterback Colby Cameron into a 52-24 road upset of the Illini (2-2).

And not just an upset for the Western Athletic Conference school, but a blowout.

The Bulldogs led 21-7 at the end of the first quarter on Illinois' first three turnovers, and dominated the Illini, never trailing again.

"I thought we played a lot more physical up front today than we have and made better plays on the football," Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes said. "I think we gained a lot of confidence in the first half just because we had a lead."

Cameron's favorite target was Quinton Patton who caught six balls for 164 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

Cameron and Patton connected on a pair of early third-quarter touchdowns that put the Bulldogs up for good, 35-17.

"Regardless of who you're playing you're not going to win football games if you turn the football over and give up big strikes," Illinois coach Tim Beckman said. "I credit Louisiana Tech - I think Louisiana Tech's got a good football team. But we still have to play much better."

After missing the past two games with a sprained ankle, Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was ineffective and left the game in the first quarter. Reilly O'Toole was 19 of 25 for 120 yards in his place.

The Bulldog defense sacked Illinois' quarterbacks five times.

Illinois climbed back into the game in the second quarter, turning a 21-7 deficit to a manageable 21-17 while holding the Bulldogs to three yards of offense.

The Bulldogs doused whatever spark the Illini felt as they came out of the locker room for the third quarter. And, like everything else Louisiana Tech did, it happened fast.

On the quarter's second play Cameron hit Patton deep down the right sideline for a 78-yard touchdown and a 28-17 lead that silenced a chilly Memorial Stadium crowd. Patton caught the ball well behind cornerback Terry Hawthorne, one of Illinois' fastest players. And any helped he might have hoped for from his safeties never materialized.

After a three-and-out from Illinois and O'Toole, the Bulldogs turned in a nine-play, 73-yard drive that, it weren't for their no-huddle offense, might have chewed up four or five minutes. As it was, Cameron wrapped up the drive in well under three minutes, again finding Patton for a 21-yard touchdown.

Patton again ran by Hawthorne as he cut across the middle of the field and caught the ball near the goal line.

"We've got to try to create some more pressure on the quarterback and we've got to cover better," Beckman said. "I mean, you saw it."

For all of Louisiana Tech's quick-strike offensive ability, one special teams play summed a night of mistakes for Illinois.

Trailing 35-17, the Illini forced a punt and were about to get the ball back, but the punt bounced off the back of blocker Justin Green inside his own 5-yard line and into the end zone. The Bulldogs' Antonio Mitchum fell on the ball and, at 42-17 with more than four minutes left in the third quarter, the game was over.

"We talked in the past few weeks about finishing and that's what we worked on tonight. I think we decided to capitalize on that in the third quarter," Mitchum said.

Illinois' first three turnovers cost the Illini dearly. All in the first quarter, they staked Louisiana Tech to a 21-7 lead.

The last of those three was, for the Illini, the ugliest.

Scheelhaase ran away from heavy pressure but was caught as he headed for the sideline by linebacker Rufus Porter who punched the ball loose. Defensive end Vontarrius Dora grabbed the fumble at the Illinois 38 and returned it to the Illinois 23-yard line

King again turned the Illini mistake into points, scrambling in from the 5, hitting the goal line and losing the ball as he did.

Illinois challenged the touchdown call but, like much of what the Illini tried in the first quarter, it didn't work. Officials upheld the call.

Scheelhaase left the game after his fumble. He hadn't played since late in the opener against Western Michigan almost three weeks ago after spraining his left ankle.

"We weren't moving the ball so we decided as coaching staff, myself, that we'd give Reilly a chance," Beckman said, saying only that Scheelhaase looked Rusty.

O'Toole - along with a mistake from the Bulldogs - helped Illinois claw its way back into the game.

First Illinois turned a fumbled punt return by Craig Johnson deep in Bulldog territory into a 26-yard field goal by Taylor Zalewski to cut the gap to 21-10 with 12:14 left in the second quarter. Then O'Toole led Illinois on a methodical 13-play, 57 yard drive - overcoming a holding penalty that wiped out a 25-yard gain - that ended with a 1-yard touchdown by Donovonn Young. Illinois was back in the game, somehow down just four, 21-17, at the half.

---

Follow David Mercer on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DavidMercerAP

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

Related Video

December 19, 2014
Gary Andersen joins Jim Rome (5:13)
December 17, 2014
P.J. Fleck joins Jim Rome
(5:15)
December 17, 2014
College Football Recruiting Update: 12/17
(5:44)
December 17, 2014
Coaching changes impacting recruiting
(4:30)
 
Scoring Summary
ILLRyan Lankford 18 yd pass from Nathan Scheelhaase (Taylor Zalewski kick)
LATECHD.J. Banks 27 yd pass from Colby Cameron (Matt Nelson kick)
LATECHTevin King 9 yd run (Matt Nelson kick)
LATECHTevin King 5 yd run (Matt Nelson kick)
ILLTaylor Zalewski 26 yd FG
ILLDonovonn Young 1 yd run (Taylor Zalewski kick)
LATECHQuinton Patton 78 yd pass from Colby Cameron (Matt Nelson kick)
LATECHQuinton Patton 21 yd pass from Colby Cameron (Matt Nelson kick)
LATECHAntonio Mitchum 0 yd fumble return (Matt Nelson kick)
LATECHMatt Nelson 32 yd FG
LATECHMyles White 38 yd pass from Colby Cameron (Matt Nelson kick)
ILLReilly O'Toole 1 yd run (Taylor Zalewski kick)
 
Team Stats
 LATECHILL
First Downs1720
Third Down Efficiency3-117-15
Fourth Down Efficiency0-00-2
Plays-Net Yards59-40378-324
Rushes-Yds37-11941-119
Passing Yds284205
Kick Return Yds4394
Punt Return Yds-8-2
Passes15-22-027-37-1
Punts5-2374-169
Fumbles-Lost5-35-5
Penalties-Yds5-394-35
Time of Poss.23:4136:19
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
LATECH: Kenneth Dixon 12-57, Tevin King 10-37, Hunter Lee 3-19, Brandon Davis 4-16, Ray Holley 3-5, Colby Cameron 5--15
ILL: Donovonn Young 19-78, Reilly O'Toole 12-31, Josh Ferguson 7-27, Dami Ayoola 1-0, Nathan Scheelhaase 2--17
PASSING
LATECH: Colby Cameron 15-22-284-0
ILL: Reilly O'Toole 19-25-120-0, Nathan Scheelhaase 8-11-85-1, Miles Osei 0-1-0-0
RECEIVING
LATECH: Quinton Patton 6-164, Myles White 3-53, D.J. Banks 2-29, Richie Casey 1-15, Hunter Lee 1-11, Ray Holley 1-9, Tevin King 1-3
ILL: Josh Ferguson 10-84, Ryan Lankford 5-51, Donovonn Young 4-30, Dami Ayoola 3--4, Spencer Harris 2-29, Justin Hardee 2-10, Jon Davis 1-5
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Louisiana Tech1st Conference USA West7-18-5
Illinois5th Big Ten West3-56-6

CBSSports.com Shop

Mens Florida State Seminoles No. 5 Nike Garnet 2015 College Football Playoffs Rose Bowl Special Event Jersey

Free 3-Day Shipping over $100!
Use code 3DAY100
Get their favorite team gear
Shop Now