We asked the Illinois football players 10 questions about their likes and dislikes. We will publish their responses each day leading up to the opener against Murray State on Sept. 3. Today’s guests ...
Lovie Smith has a dozen wide receivers chasing down passes these days.
“No household names,” the Illini football coach said, “but we have athletes with good size who can catch. It’s good to have Justin Hardee back (redshirted due to foot fracture last season). We expect a lot from (Malik) Turner.”
CHAMPAIGN — Recruiting players out of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs is a priority for Lovie Smith.
In about three weeks, Lovie Smith will lead his first Illini football team onto Bob Zuppke Field against Murray State. While it’s his debut at Illinois, Smith is no stranger to season-opening games as a head coach. In nine years with the Chicago Bears, Smith won five of his team’s nine season openers. He lost the lid-lifter in both of his seasons as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
CHAMPAIGN — If you don’t recognize Rob Bain, that’s OK. You are not alone.
For most of his Illinois career, the defensive lineman went all Mr. Clean. By choice. But he has let his hair grow out.
Out of a clear, blue sky, No. 39 caught the Illini defense off guard in practice last week. Taking a quick handoff, he rambled into the heart of the secondary.
Whoa there, coach, what was the fullback doing with the ball under his arm? Or, rather, why was a fullback on the field in the first place?
PODCAST: Saturday SportsTalk 08-13-16: Play now!
Michael Kiser and Loren Tate host the Saturday edition of Sports Talk. They talk with Adam Rittenberg, J Leman, UI Men's Gymnastics Coach Justin Spring, and Frank Cusumano.
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