Head coach Tommy Tuberville said early in the week the Illini were more athletic than last week's opponent Purdue, and the Illini had no problem going up 21-0 before the Bearcats finally found the end zone with eight seconds left as senior quarterback Munchie Legaux found Max Morrison to put the Bearcats within striking distance in the second half.
Cincinnati would find three points when Tony Miliano hit a 37 yard field making the score 28-10 in favor of the home team.
Cincinnati looked ready to add to the scoreboard but a Legaux fumble on a fourth-down play at the Illinois goal line led to an Illini drive that saw Scheelhaase find Cincinnati native Steve Hull for a 22 yard touchdown with 2:48 left in the third quarter.
Tuberville's team quickly responded with a five play 76 yard drive ending in a Ralph Abernathy 13-yard touchdown run with 1:34 left in the third quarter and Bearcat fans thinking a comeback was likely.
But just as the Bearcat faithful found hope, they soon learned this was not to be their day. Legaux left the field on a cart with what appears to be a serious leg injury and the Illini shutout the Bearcats offense the final quarter while adding 17 points to their total giving the home team a 45-17 win.
The loss moves the Bearcats to 1-1 on the year with Brendon Kay now expected to be the starting quarterback the remainder of the season if he can stay healthy.
Next Saturday the Bearcats will host Northwestern State for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff at Nippert Stadium.