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Blue defeat Orange 38-7 as quarterbacks show their stuff in Illini spring scrimmage


CHAMPAIGN, Illinois — Illinois quarterbacks Riley O'Toole and Wes Lunt led the Blue team to a 38-7 win over the Orange during the intra-squad scrimmage at Memorial Stadium.

The Illini's spring game Saturday afternoon gave Tim Beckman and his coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate the teams' performance. The Blue squad took control of the game early on, with O'Toole throwing for two touchdowns in the first quarter. The third quarterback contender, Aaron Bailey, had a 2-yard rush for the only touchdown for the Orange.

The trio will continue to battle for the starting slot as an official decision on starting quarterback between the three main contenders will not be made until the fall.

Veteran senior O'Toole went 12-16 with 126 yards and two touchdowns. He started the first quarter strong and stayed consistent, switching quarters with Lunt. Sophomore transfer Lunt, a favorite for his arm strength and accuracy, had a slow start but went 6-14 with 99 yards and one interception. Lunt improved in the second half. Beckman said he had been performing better during spring practices than in the game. The dynamic but inconsistent thrower Aaron Bailey went 6-8 with 25 yards and one interception.

Running back Donnovon Young was injured in the first half and returned after halftime. Sophomore defensive lineman Kirk Roberts left the game with a leg injury.

The offensive line is in need of depth, with the men playing the entire game. The Blue squad gained 306 yards, and the Orange 187 yards.

Several routes were mis-run by both squads.

Defensively, Beckman expressed concern with getting more men on the tackle and working on the pass rush. Defensive coordinator Tim Banks stated a need for leadership and consistency that he did not see today.

The recorded attendance was 5,015 on the windy afternoon.

Beckman faces pressure to produce after Illinois finished 4-8 last season.

The Illini open the 2014 season Aug. 30 at home against Youngstown State.

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