Brown suffers torn ACL

CHAMPAIGN — For a program already dealing with a likely season-ending knee injury to wide receiver Mikey Dudek, it looks like Illinois football will have to make do without another one of its playmakers for the 2016 season.

Vaughn eager to gain ground

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois hasn’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2010. Ke’Shawn Vaughn wants to end the drought.

The sophomore led the team in 2015 with 723 yards. His goal is a bit higher than that going into 2016.

“I need to get over 1,300,” Vaughn said.

The new Illinois coaches are counting on Vaughn to be an important part of the offense.

PODCAST: SportsTalk 04-19-16

PODCAST: SportsTalk 04-19-16: Play now!

Steve Kelly and Loren Tate host the Tuesday edition of Sports Talk. They talk with Doug Buschon and Jennifer Shelby.


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Tate: Youngsters showing promise early

If patience is a virtue, what is the reward?

A fresh football buzz is reverberating in Illini circles. High school prospects are displaying interest. Even rival coaches applauded the hiring of Lovie Smith in a conference call.

Five former Illini making it big in pro sports

Tatyana McFadden continued her dominance at the Boston Marathon on Monday, winning her fourth consecutive women’s wheelchair race. Here are five other prominent former Illini who are shining in their respective sports:

PODCAST: News Gazette Sports Page 04-18-16

PODCAST: News Gazette Sports Page 04-18-16: Play now!

Join the News Gazette sports writers as they discuss the latest in local sports.


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April 21 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 2:00pm

How is spring ball going for Lovie Smith? What are John Groce and his Illini up to? How is new athletic director Josh Whitman adjusting to working for his alma mater? Will Matt Bollant have any players next season? Sports editor Matt Daniels can handle any of those topics, or whatever else is on your mind, at 2 p.m. on Thursday, but feel free to pepper him with questions well in advance.

Lovie receives warm welcome

Last week, the Big Ten held its spring football teleconference with league coaches. Staff writer Bob Asmussen asked their thoughts on new Illinois coach Lovie Smith and the challenges he faces in his first season:

Football notebook: Lovie enjoys game-like conditions

CHAMPAIGN — Some of the fans wore “Lovie” T-shirts. They stood in line to get his autograph afterward. It was not your typical spring practice.

About 5,000 came out to see Lovie Smith’s team for the first time. On a sun-drenched April afternoon, the new Illinois coach was pleased with the turnout. And happy his team was able to work in front of an audience.

Illini's offense runs through Lunt

CHAMPAIGN — The freshman bass drummer in the Jacksonville marching band couldn’t help himself five years ago.

He had to catch a glimpse of Wes Lunt, the golden-armed quarterback at Rochester.

After all, Division I prospects didn’t stop by central Illinois high schools every Friday night in the fall.