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Mistakes hurt Illinois in 31-14 loss to Wisconsin

Associated Press Modified: October 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm •  Published: October 6, 2012
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The drive ended when Kyle French made a 46-yard field goal.

Beckman said a CT scan was negative and Hawthorne was expected to be on the team flight home.

Illinois' next drive stalled near midfield, and a shanked 10-yard punt by Justin DuVernois gave Wisconsin good field position. James White had a 22-yard run, Stave hit Abbrederis for 15 yards, and Ball ran it in from 9 yards out to put Wisconsin up 17-7.

"We've got to learn how to respond," Beckman said. "If it's not a good play like a shanked punt or something like that scenario, we've got to react in a positive way instead of letting it hurt us for the remainder of the game."

As Wisconsin's offense has struggled, coach Bret Bielema has gone back and forth between Stave and Danny O'Brien at quarterback. Stave started the game, but Bielema went to a third option at the end of the first quarter, bringing in Curt Phillips.

Phillips has had multiple surgeries on his right knee, has thrown just 13 passes in his career and hadn't played since the 2009 regular season finale at Hawaii. He handed off to end the first quarter, kept the ball for a 2-yard loss to open the second and gave way to Stave on third down.

The juggling didn't work. Stave was picked off, with Steve Hull returning the ball to the Wisconsin 28. Scheelhaase completed a pass for 23 yards to give the Illini first-and-goal at the 5 before running it in on the next play.

Stave, who later hit White for a 62-yard touchdown on a screen pass, said coming out of the game didn't hurt his rhythm and the ball got away from him on the interception. He finished with 254 yards through the air.

Illinois also failed to take advantage of opportunities early. Illinois' second drive of the first half stalled at the 30, and a 47-yard field goal attempt was short and well right. Up 7-0, the Illini then seemed in good position to pick up another score after a 28-yard Wisconsin punt put them near midfield. But Scheelhaase was picked off by Devin Smith, and Wisconsin later tied it on the long screen pass.

Beckman was also caught during the game broadcast using chewing tobacco on the sideline, a violation of NCAA rules. He said after the game he was unsure what kind of fine he may face from the Big Ten.

"That's a bad habit of mine," he said. "I apologize for that. I guess it's the stress. But there is no excuse for that. It will be stopped."