Apr 14, 2012; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Josh Ferguson (6) tries to avoid being tackled by Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Henry Dickinson (48) during the first half of the spring game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE
After the Illini blue team won 13-12, the Orange teams missed extra point in the first quarter came back to haunt them. The running game and defense were especially important in Saturdays Illini spring game due to the rainy weather. The bad weather, coupled with a struggling offensive line, made it difficult for either team to move the ball through the air for both quarterbacks, Nathan Scheelhaase and Reilly O’Toole. Freshman running back Josh Ferguson led the Blue team on offense, rushing for 130 yards on 20 carries.
After a day full of missed field goals and PATs, Nick Immekus kicked a 47 yard field goal with 1:22 left in the game to win the game for the blue team.
Michael Buchanan was impressive on the defensive end for the orange team, totaling 4.5 sacks and 12 total tackles. On the Blue side linebacker Johnathan Brown led his squad with 10 tackles and 2.5 sacks, along with Darrius Caldwell who had a sack and two tackles for losses. These sack numbers are partially inflated because if a player got a hand on the quarterback, it counted as a sack, because this was only the spring game.
Both defensive units looked strong as Illinois will look to improve and work on all facets of their game, especially their new offense through the summer.
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