Morning Box Score: Illini come from behind against NU
By Tim Bearden in News on Oct 2, 2011 2:20PM
Big Ten home-opener, homecoming and a top 25 ranking on the line pushed Illinois to dig deep on Saturday. The Illini returned from two deficits to remain undefeated. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was determined to overtake Northwestern after a rough first half. Scheelhaase turned the ball over twice in the first half and his team faced a 21-point deficit midway through the third quarter. Then Scheelhaase and A.J. Jenkins took over the field. Scheelhaase threw for 391 yards and Jenkins caught 12 receptions for a school record 268 yards and three touchdowns. Despite those efforts the Illini were still down 35-31 in the final minutes of the game. Scheelhaase then found Jenkins in the endzone for the last of his three touchdowns giving the Illini the three point edge to remain undefeated. The Illini continue defying skeptics and advance to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten.
Mike Floyd is known for being unselfish on the football field, but the Irish wanted to change that. And change Floyd did. Not to say he's still not a team player, but he saw a lot more touches and topped his receiving yardage numbers on the first play of the game with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Rees. That set the tone for the Irish for the game. The Fighting Irish tallied a season-high 551 total yards to Purdue's 276. It was only their third game in school history with 500 yards or better. Cierre Wood rushed for a career-high 191 of Notre Dame's 287 rushing yards dominating the Big Ten team at home.
It was a heart-breaking game for the Huskies on Saturday as Central Michigan squeezed out a win, even though they were dominant for most of the game. NIU didn't show much life until the fourth quarter, scoring 25 points, coming within a touchdown and recovering an onside kick with only 19 seconds to play. Too bad Chandler Harnish threw his second interception of the game to Jaleel Addae on third down following the onside kick securing the win for Central Michigan. Harnish threw for 370 yards on Saturday, but it just wasn't enough to put another notch in their "W" column.