Top of the Morning, Sept. 22, 2017

Give the good-timing award to the Illini Quarterback Club. For the third year in a row, it's hosting a Punt, Pass & Kick competition for area youths. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday.

Last year, it was held at the Irwin Indoor Practice Facility. This year, the event is moving to Champaign's Zahnd Park.

Sept. 25 Bob Asmussen chat

Monday, September 25, 2017 - 10:00am

What did the Illinois players and coaches do with their weekend off? Can the team bounce back from the South Florida loss to win its Big Ten opener? Who will play quarterback for the Illini?

For the answers to these questions, and anything else on your mind, check in with our Illinois football beat writer.

'We don't know yet'

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois won't play again for nine more days when it takes the field for its Big Ten opener on Sept. 29 at home against Nebraska.

The off week came at the right time, according to Illini coach Lovie Smith. There might not be a standard "best time" for a weekend off, but Illinois could use the extra days to heal up to be full strength to face the Cornhuskers (1-2).

Tate: I'll take Jeff George

There was a time when Illinois was known for its talent at quarterback.From the day Dave Wilson torched Ohio State in 1980 to Juice Williams' Rose Bowl season of 2007, the man under center often put up prolific numbers.

In this week's podcast, "Tatelines: Unedited," 51-year columnist Loren Tate weighs in on his favorite Illini quarterbacks.

Smith: 'Perfect time for a bye'

Illinois coach Lovie Smith discusses his team's bye week, briefly touches on the quarterback situation and finishes with the idea that even more freshmen might find their way onto the field this season than the 18 that already have.

Sept. 22 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Friday, September 22, 2017 - 2:00pm

Will the bye week make a difference for Illinois football when it returns to action Sept. 29 against Nebraska? Is that a winnable game given the Cornhuskers' struggles? On the high school side, which teams and players are the ones to watch with postseason play approaching? Anything is fair game in sports editor Matt Daniels' weekly chat, which gets going at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Sept. 20 Illinois basketball, football & volleyball chat

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 12:30pm

Just because it's the bye week for Lovie Smith's Illini doesn't mean there aren't some discussions to be had about the Illinois football team through three games. Quarterback controversy anybody? We'll see.

Lovie adds new QB into the fray

CHAMPAIGN — The Illini started their bye week on Monday. And with the next 11 days before Illinois opens Big Ten play at home against Nebraska likely to include plenty of discussion about quarterback play, they added another one to their roster.

Illini add transfer quarterback

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois started it bye week Monday. And with the next 11 days before the Illini open Big Ten play at home against Nebraska likely to include plenty of discussion about quarterback play, they added another one to their roster.

George gave Illini's offense life

TAMPA, Fla. — Think back to this year's Big Ten media days in Chicago. Illinois coach Lovie Smith hit what's always an important topic early in his opening statement.