Field trip READY TO ROLL Jerry Schumacher doesn''t need any motivational speeches before practice this week. He understands the importance of Saturday''s game. The Illinois senior linebacker is guaranteed two more games, though the Illini hope for a pair of wins and a bowl invitation. "It goes by fast," Schumacher said. "I remember the first game. I remember walking out of the tunnel and saying, ''Oh man, this is why I came here.'' " Schumacher has visions of stopping Ohio State hotshot Maurice Clarett on Saturday. "He''s a power back, a great back," Schumacher said. "He''s up for the Heisman, and he''s a freshman. We like to give freshmen a little extra. I''m sure he''s going to play. I''m sure he''s going to be 100 percent. We''ve got to be able to tackle him." Schumacher has seen his share of good running backs this season. "The Big Ten is a power conference," Schumacher said. "They''re going to line up tackle to tackle and run the ball. We know it." Schumacher said he is playing better now than earlier in the season. "My legs are underneath me, and I''m all healthy for once," Schumacher said. "You get a couple wins, and you get that confidence going. That''s when you start making plays." UP AND RUNNING While his teammates extended Wisconsin''s misery last Saturday, Carey Davis sat at home and watched. Impatiently. The junior fullback missed the game because of a sprained left knee. "I was happy that we were winning, but I was upset I couldn''t be there with my teammates," Davis said. "I was like, ''I''m not standing on the sideline this game.'' Right then, it started feeling better." Davis expects to play against Ohio State. "I feel like 100 percent," Davis said. "I''m going to give 100 percent. I feel good." When he first hurt his leg at Penn State, Davis wondered if he would return this season. Illinois coach Ron Turner said Davis looked better Wednesday. "I would say Carey is probable," Turner said. Receiver Brandon Lloyd remains questionable, Turner said, with a strained hip flexor. GOOD SEATS STILL AVAILABLE Illinois sold 1,241 tickets Wednesday, dropping the total remaining for Saturday''s Illinois-Ohio State game to 12,000. Turner said he isn''t worried about it. "I''d like to see it full," Turner said. "I''ve got enough to concern myself with just trying to find a way to win." Coaching corner: Mike Cassity Of course, when it comes to the Ohio State offense, most of the talk is about freshman running back Maurice Clarett. But Illinois defensive coordinator Mike Cassity hasn''t forgotten quarterback Craig Krenzel. The junior is second in the Big Ten in passing efficiency behind Iowa''s Brad Banks. And he is 11-0 as a starter this season. "He''s operating the offense," Cassity said. "He made the key throw last week. He''s doing an outstanding job. They''ve got a good system." As of Wednesday, Cassity liked the progress of the defense this week. "We''re getting there," Cassity said. When he thinks about the Ohio State running backs, Cassity doesn''t stop with Clarett. "They''ve got quite a few good running backs," Cassity said. "They''re all good." Cassity said the Buckeyes were good offensively a year ago. "They finished the year strong," Cassity said. "They''ve just picked up where they left off last year." The Illini have a difficult test Saturday. "Any time a team''s No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation, they''ve done some good things," Cassity said. Odds & ends * Freshman Franklin Payne and receiver Ade Adeyemo are taking turns playing the Ohio State tailbacks on the Illinois scout team. "They''re doing a good job," Turner said. "Not as good as the real 13 (Maurice Clarett)." Injuries at tailback also cut into the depth of the scout team. James Cooper can''t work with the scout team because Illinois has so few healthy tailbacks. * Associated Press football writer Richard Rosenblatt picks Ohio State to win Saturday''s game against Illinois. Barely. Rosenblatt likes the Buckeyes 27-21 and writes, "Anyone mention Michigan''s up next for Buckeyes?" For the season, Rosenblatt has been right on 75 percent of the games. * The scouts continue to flock to Memorial Stadium during November, an open period. On Wednesday, a handful of NFL teams were represented. "We''ve had a lot throughout the year," Turner said. The Illini have 12 seniors on their roster, with many hoping to get drafted. A year ago, only quarterback Kurt Kittner was drafted, causing Turner to cut back the access for the scouts. Practice schedule The Illini practice at 3 p.m. today on their grass practice fields, weather permitting.