Western Illinois solid, confident despite 0-2 start


 Jared Elliott’s head coaching career is off to an inauspicious. But the Western Illinois head football coach still loves his team.

The strength of schedule has played more a factor in WIU’s 0-2 start in the first two games with Elliott at the helm than anything else.

The Leathernecks controlled the first half in their season-opener at Montana State, holding a commanding 13-3 lead before field goal at the first half buzzer cut the advantage to a touchdown. After the break, MSU quarterback Troy Andersen settled in, leading a game-tying drive to open the second half, then using his bullish running style to plow his way to 145 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a 26-23 Bobcat victory.

Last week, Western Illinois held a 7-0 lead at Illinois of the Big Ten midway through the second quarter. WIU had just one less first down than the Illini’s 20 and gained just 15 less yards than Illinois’ 376. But the hosts outlast the Leathernecks 34-14 despite 276 passing yards from WIU senior quarterback Sean McGuire.

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Jared Elliott on Tootell and Nuanez

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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