UI-La. Tech: GameDay
Well before the game, tune into ... "Saturday Sportsline" on WDWS 1400-AM, which starts at 9 a.m. Co-hosts Loren Tate and Jim Turpin will open with author John Greenburg and his take on the Penn State debacle. At 9:30, former Illini great J Leman — who's working the game for BTN — will check in with his thoughts on Louisiana Tech. At 10, Illinois AD Mike Thomas makes his weekly appearance, followed by his wife, Jeni, who will come on at 10:30.
During the game, you'll listen to ... Wabash College grad — and Voice of the Indiana Pacers — Chris Denari (play-by-play) and former Michigan State quarterback Tony Banks (sidelines) will work hand-in-hand with Leman, who came across well during last week's broadcast. On radio, Voice of the Illini Brian Barnhart (play-by-play) joins former Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner (analysis) and Steve Kelly (pregame, halftime and postgame) in the booth.
Follow along on IlliniHQ with ... staff writers Marcus Jackson and Paul Klee, whose in-game report will start about 6 p.m. and continue until the final whistle. Jackson's postgame video will be posted by 11 p.m., as will a photo gallery featuring a collection from Darrell Hoemann, Rick Danzl and Robert K. O'Daniell.
After the game ... stick with WDWS for the popular 90-minute call-in show hosted by Brian Moline and former Illini Martin O'Donnell. Want to get something off your chest? Call 217-356-9397 or 800-223-9397 to get on the air.
Get there early to ... catch Tim Beckman and his team perform the Illini Walk at 4:40 p.m. starting at First and Kirby. Street Fest starts at 4 p.m., with emerging star Brett Eldredge taking the stage at 5.
Be in your seat by the national anthem because ... Louisiana Tech might be up 7-0 if you don't. The Bulldogs are averaging 56 points, 603 yards and 80 plays a game — and they're doing it quickly. Tech is 101st in the country in time of possession at just under 27 minutes a game.
Keep an eye out for ... Xavier Rathan-Mayes, the super-recruit from Huntington (W.V.) Prep. Actually, Rathan-Mayes is A) from Canada B) the best player Illinois is recruiting in the graduating class of 2013 C) a combo guard that immediately would alter the future of Illini basketball.
The 18-year-old began his official visit to Illinois on Friday morning, joined by his mom and dad. He worked out at Ubben on Friday and had dinner with the coaching staff Friday night. Chant his name, but don't do the Tomahawk chop. Florida State, where his father played, is the stiffest competition for his commitment.