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>>Beckman: Scheelhaase Near 100 %

Illinois coach Tim Beckman says quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is close to 100% healthy after being hobbled by an ankle sprain since the opening week of the season.

But the Illini coach Wednesday didn't name a starter for Saturday's game against Louisiana Tech (2-0).

Scheelhaase sprained his ankle in the Illinois (2-1) win over Western Michigan. The junior hasn't played in Illinois' two games since then.

Sophomore quarterback Reilly O'Toole has been inconsistent playing in place of Scheelhaase. O'Toole struggled in a blowout loss to Arizona State but threw more than 300 yards and five touchdowns last Saturday in a 44-0 win over Charleston Southern.

Scheelhaase said earlier this week that he's feeling better and plans to play.

Bulldogs coach Sonny Dykes says he expects to face Scheelhaase.

>>Big Ten's Passing Numbers Down From Expectations

This was supposed to be a year the Big Ten went airborne.

7 of the top 10 passing quarterbacks from 2011 were back, as were 9 of the 12 primary starters under center.

Blame it on injuries, on graduation losses, on hybrid signal-callers or parity, but the Big Ten isn't flying all that high.

More conference teams rank in the bottom 25 in the nation in passing than the top 50. And that won't change much once league play begins.

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