Beckman Presser Notes

News and notes from Tim Beckman's press conference Monday to discuss the win over Southern Illinois and looking ahead to Cincinnati.

- Beckman kicked off things by congratulating quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase for winning Big Ten Player of the Week honors after passing for 416 yards and two touchdowns Saturday.

"I'm sure Nathan will be the first to tell you, it's not a Nathan award, it's a team award. I'm sure he'll say that later," Beckman said.

For the record, Scheelhaase did take the humble approach. I'm still waiting for that guy to say the wrong thing. I don't think it's going to happen though. For those scoring at home, it was the second time Scheelhaase took home the conference POTW award, his first since earning it as a freshman against Purdue.

- Beckman echoed his message about Saturday's win, while not pretty, was still a win and that's what the program needs right now. He dropped John Groce's name, saying positive reinforcement was mandatory and the hope is to continue creating good momentum with victories, regardless of how they happen.

"Might not have been the prettiest thing but it's a W in the long run," he said.

- Not a single offensive lineman received a passing grade for Saturday's performance. Scheelhaase was pressured too much, Beckman said, and the running game was non-existent. What needs to happen?

"A physical-ness. The presence. Moving people off the football," Beckman answered.

- Beckman said the plan for how and if each quarterback will be used this weekend is still in the works. Freshman Aaron Bailey had success running the ball in short-yardage situations, so Beckman was pleased with that. Reilly O'Toole, though, had a delay of game penalty and fumbled late in the game.

- As for the running game, Beckman didn't throw it all off on the offensive line. He said the running backs didn't do their job, either.

"We didn't hit it as backs like we should," Beckman said.

He was speaking about tailbacks Donovonn Young and Josh Ferguson not hitting the holes, if they were there on given plays, which they were supposed to. The backs didn't hold their own in pass protection either. Ferguson finished with 49 yards, Young six. Beckman said they'd like to get tight end Jon Davis, who had 15 yards on his lone rush, more carries but his knee is the concern there. The staff is not trying to over-work him.

- Defensively, Beckman said the unit gave up too many big plays. Eaton Spence received a passing grade, but Beckman said V'Angelo Bentley has to play better.

"He didn't play up to his capabilities. He knows that," Beckman said.

Bentley finished with four tackles, one for loss, and a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. But he also gave up a long touchdown pass in the second half.

The staff is working hard to correct the mistakes in the pass defense because "people are going to attack you off things you didn't do so well in your first game," Beckman said.

- Sophomore running back Dami Ayoola's standing with the team is in question. He didn't play Saturday.

"We're in the process of dealing with a situation with Dami," Beckman said. "I'll be able to further comment on that later."

Devin Church and Lakeith Walls are the candidates for the No. 3 tailback slot on the depth chart.

- Beckman was obviously pleased with Bentley's touchdown on kickoffs and was also happy with the punt return effort. He said punter Justin DuVernois has to be better with punts in crucial situations. His punt late in the fourth quarter Saturday wasn't very good.


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