We're continuing our recaps of the plethora of spring games over the weekend, and now we turn our attention to the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Star of the game: Quarterback Reilly O'Toole went 12-of-17 for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
How it went down: Think Wes Lunt is preordained to be the new Illinois starting quarterback? Maybe not so fast, if the spring game is any indication.
Lunt struggled through the scrimmage, as his first pass attempt was tipped and nearly intercepted and his second pass was picked off by Zeph Grimes. Lunt, an Oklahoma State transfer, finished just 6-of-16 for 99 yards.
“For Wes, it was kind of an off-and-on [day],” head coach Tim Beckman said. “I thought that he probably didn’t have as good a game as I’ve seen Wes have in the practices.”
Meanwhile, the senior O'Toole played very well and had the game's only two touchdown passes.
"I'm really happy for him," offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said. "He's managing the game. He knows where everybody's at. I like what I saw."
The Illini aren't going to base their decision on one spring exhibition, but maybe O'Toole has more of a chance than we thought. With both quarterbacks on the Blue team, it was no wonder that side won in a rout.
In what was a little bit of a surprise, former walk-on Peter Bonahoom led all receivers with seven catches for 95 yards. He showed why he earned a scholarship this spring. Justin Hardee also played well, with five receptions for 81 yards and a 25-yard score. Josh Ferguson led all rushers with 61 yards on 11 carries.
Beckman really needs the defense to improve for this season to be a success. On the plus side, the defense held both sides under 100 yards rushing, and V'Angelo Bentley returned an interception 89 yards. But the jury remains out.
The Illini also announced their spring MVPs: Ferguson for the offense and Earnest Thomas III for the defense.