CHAMPAIGN – Tough to say who had the better run Saturday at Memorial Stadium: Penn State quarterback Rashard Casey late in the third quarter or his 72-year-old coach following his postgame Q&A.
"I want to go home and trick or treat," Joe Paterno said, dodging reporters and TV cameras on his way out the locker room door. "I've got grandkids."
- BACK IN THE SADDLE:
As promised, Frank Williams returned to practice Saturday morning, vowing never to let his teammates down again.
CHAMPAIGN – Burn Tony Francis on a touchdown pass and he'll trot out his favorite motto: Don't get mad. Get an interception. Or two.
Twenty minutes into Saturday's game against Penn State, the Illini senior cornerback was looking for some payback.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – No Illinois runner had raced on Penn State's hilly cross-country course before Saturday's Big Ten meet.
Illinois no longer is thinking about winning a Big Ten volleyball title. It's more worried about an NCAA berth.
The Illini capped an 0-2 weekend with a five-game loss at Purdue on Saturday. The 15-9, 15-9, 6-15, 6-15, 15-10 setback left Illinois at 12-6 overall, 8-4 Big Ten.
Ron Turner won't have his regulars in pads today like he did the afternoon after Minnesota, tackling each other despite all their aches and pains. He won't have them jog to Sadorus and back or dig ditches around Memorial Stadium.
He can save his motivational tricks for another day, because the Illini tried Saturday. They huffed and puffed for all four quarters.
CHAMPAIGN – For the second week in a row, Illinois trailed a heavily favored Top 10 team going into the fourth quarter.
For the second week in a row, the Illinois players believed they could rally from a double-digit deficit.
Veteran Steve Havard has had his moments. And newcomer Antoineo Harris had his shot.
But diminutive sophomore Rocky Harvey, capitalizing Saturday on his first start since last season, is the Illini running back for the upcoming three-game "bowl quest."
- UNDER THE KNIFE:
Senior Susan Blauser is working out the kinks in her troublesome left ankle. The all-Big Ten forward had surgery in April to remove a bone chip that doctors discovered before the 1998-99 season. Blauser chose to wait until after the season to have it removed.