Early this week, Illinois coach Tim Beckman left the door open for top quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to return from an ankle injury.
Beckman wisely closed it.
Illinois confirmed Friday that Scheelhaase will miss his second straight game today against Charleston Southern, and that Reilly O'Toole once again will get the start. While the Illini could have used Scheelhaase last week at Arizona State, they should have no problems handling Charleston Southern, an FCS team that has dropped its past 14 games.
Scheelhaase, who relies heavily on his mobility, needs to get back to 100 percent, and risking him in a game like this makes no sense. Another week to heal should help him get back for next week's potentially tricky game against Louisiana Tech.
Illinois is looking for better things today from O'Toole and third-stringer Miles Osei, also expected to play. They combined to complete 14 of 24 passes for 101 yards with a touchdown (O'Toole) and three interceptions (1 by O'Toole, 2 by Osei) against the Sun Devils. Scheelhaase was available in emergency duty last week.
If an emergency arises today, Illinois really has big problems.