CHAMPAIGN – Two Illinois football coaches had 16 wins after their first four seasons on the job: Ray Eliot and Ron Turner.
Know what Eliot did in his fifth year? He went to Pasadena. And he took his team with him.
Former Illinois standout Tonja Buford-Bailey won the 400-meter hurdles Sunday at the IAAF Gateshead (England) track and field meet.
His family and friends were in the stands Saturday night. Morris Virgil hardly could wait.
For the first time in his college career, the freshman running back from Urbana played in front of a crowd. It was a nice end to a fun first two weeks.
CHAMPAIGN – The one guy on the Illinois offense who had a right to be smiling after Saturday night's scrimmage didn't feel like it. Probably because of the pain in his shoulder.
Junior receiver Walter Young made the play of the day at Memorial Stadium, snagging Kurt Kittner's pass in the middle of the field, breaking away from safety Marc Jackson and racing 80 yards for a touchdown. On a night when the defense dominated, Young had the crowd of 6,000 briefly cheering for the offense.
Brian Cook''s body clock is still a little screwy, but he knows it''s almost time to get to work.
Cook, relaxing at home before heading back to classes at Illinois this week, is ready for the school year to start. He''s ready to resume regular pickup games with his Illinois teammates.
Ron Turner's Illini are overflowing with offensive veterans – Kurt Kittner, Rocky Harvey, Luke Butkus, Tony Pashos, Brian Hodges, all those receivers – who averaged 29.6 points in a two-season, 23-game period.
Only during the Mike White heyday has Illinois racked up so many points in that span, and most of the key ingredients are still on the field.
CHAMPAIGN – He won't get a chair at Indiana. Or luggage at Michigan State. Or a golf cart at Illinois. Those gifts were reserved for Lou Henson.
There won't be a farewell tour of AL parks. Those trips belong to Cal Ripken.
SAVOY – Joe Thompson was able to duck Saturday's bad weather and shoot a solid round of golf at the same time.
Thompson leads the UI Club Championship heading into today's final round after a 1-under-par 71 on the Blue Course.
Illinois golf recruit James Lepp won the 63rd Canadian Junior National Championship tournament by 9 strokes Friday at New Minas, Nova Scotia.
The Abbotsford, British Columbia, native finished the 72-hole event at 12-under-par 268. Lepp shot rounds of 64, 67, 66 and 71 on the par-70 Ken-Wo Country Club layout.
He isn''t quite as big. And he doesn''t know the offense quite as well. But Carey Davis is doing his best to take the place of departed fullback Jameel Cook.
"There''s not really pressure, I''ve just been preparing myself for it," Davis said. "I feel like I''m ready to step in and take that role."