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.