RANTOUL – The Broncos, Blazers and beaters were all lined up, pointing toward Champaign. The tents and blocking sleds were loaded up on trucks.
Time for the Illinois football team to go home.
Illinois coach Ron Turner looked at the tape of Saturday night's scrimmage and liked plenty of what he saw.
"More guys stepped up than stepped back," Turner said.
It's right there in the 1966 Illini football guide: "Mike Rogers, 6-2, 255, Lane Tech ... Chicago prep wrestling champ in 1962-63 ...rated by coaches as a potential Dick Butkus."
The last we heard at the outset of the 1966 season was that Rogers, married and disinterested, was headed home for whatever awaited him.
RANTOUL – When Ron Turner meets with the Illinois football players before the beginning of training camp, he spells out his rules.
Connie Moore didn't follow along.
RANTOUL – Connie Moore's stay at the University of Illinois didn't last long.
Illinois football coach Ron Turner dismissed Moore from the team Sunday for "conduct detrimental to the team." Turner wouldn't give details of the off-field incident.
RANTOUL – In his neverending quest for playmakers, Illinois football coach Ron Turner found a few Saturday night.
Ken Dilger had a great career at Illinois before moving on to the National Football League. But what plays do Illinois fans remember him for? A dropped pass in the end zone against Missouri and a reception against Purdue that fell 1 yard short.
Trying to avoid the same mistakes, tight end Josh Whitman is taking extra work in practice with offensive coordinator/receivers coach Buddy Teevens.
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Sixty-nine years old.
Young enough to be a movie star if you're Paul Newman.
Young enough to be president if you're Ronald Reagan.
Young enough to be hip if you're Tony Bennett.
But try coaching at 69 and watch the vultures circle.
Illini coach Ron Turner carries good vibes about his new punter.
Steve Fitts, an athletic freshman from South Carolina, boomed his first six punts for a 45-yard average in Saturday night's scrimmage at Rantoul High School before a "poocher" pulled his average down.
That's the good news. The bad news is Fitts was needed so often.
If Indianapolis or St. Louis or some other National Football League team ever needs a new preseason home, there's one nearby.
Just follow the balloons.