CHAMPAIGN – Name the last current Illini to win a football game at Michigan.
Don't rack your brains, it's a trick question. The answer is defensive coordinator Tim Kish.
As an assistant coach at Northwestern in 1995, Kish left Ann Arbor with a 19-13 victory. The Wildcats managed to quiet the 104,642 in Michigan Stadium. It wasn't easy to do, Kish said.
Through three full days of work this week, Illinois coach Ron Turner has seen no signs his team will repeat its lackluster effort against Minnesota.
"I thought we practiced very well last week, but I think we've picked it up a notch or two," Turner said.
Just before last year's Class A football semifinals, Sterling Newman Central Catholic coach Mike Papoccia laid out a big chunk of AstroTurf in front of his office.
In past years, the coach of one of the state's dominant small schools of the 1990s would nail a piece of the plastic rug above his door. It always symbolized the turf at Illinois State's Hancock Stadium, home of the state championships.
Contrary to public opinion, the reason Illinois ran aground Saturday against Minnesota was not a hangover from Indiana, not poor football strategy, nor a disinclination on the part of the players to "fight."
Minnesota simply showed up with more good, veteran football players.
It will probably be early next week before we know where Nick Smith will play his college basketball next season.
Illini stats through six games
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Both of them know it's going to happen.
On Saturday, Illinois tailback Antoineo Harris will carry the ball into the Michigan secondary. Standing between Harris and a first down will be his good buddy, Wolverines cornerback Todd Howard.
When did Michigan cease to consider Illinois a worthy "natural rival?"
Junior Tim Riley and freshman Anthony Heazlewood each shot 3-over-par 75s Tuesday to help the Illinois men's golf team move up two spots to eighth in the final round of the Persimmon Ridge Invitational at Louisville, Ky.
Knocking 3 strokes off their first-round score, the Illini shot 304 to finish at 611. Notre Dame won with a 593.
- GETTING BETTER:
Receiver Greg Lewis and defensive tackle Mike McGee were back in full pads for Tuesday's practice. Lewis missed Saturday's Minnesota game with a high ankle sprain, and McGee has been out two weeks with a hamstring pull.