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>>Illinois Facing Familiar Situation

Illinois coach Tim Beckman says the losses are starting to snowball.

The Illini (2-3, 0-1 Big Ten) have given up 132 points in its three losses. Their once-solid defense has been scorched in back-to-back losses to Penn State and Louisiana Tech.

And it doesn't get easier. Illinois travels this week to Wisconsin (3-2, 0-1).

Illinois had a 6-game losing streak last year that cost coach Ron Zook his job. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (SHEEL'-hows) says that run taught him the team has to stick together.

>>Big Ten Honors LB Monheim

There were very few Illinois highlights in Saturday's 35-7 loss to Penn State, but linebacker Mason Monheim's game earned him the Big Ten's freshman of the week award.

The conference on Monday made Monheim the first Illini this season to win any of the conference's weekly awards.

Monheim had a game-high 11 tackles against Penn State and forced a fumble. The Orville, Ohio, native is Illinois' third leading tackler this season with 28. That's No. 1 among Big Ten freshmen.

Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti's game-changing performance against Illinois (2-3, 0-1) earned him the defensive player of the week.

Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez were offensive players of the week. Nebraska kicker and punter Brett Maher was the special teams player of the week.

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