Game story: No relief in sight for Illini football team

CHAMPAIGN — For Illinois fans, eight is enough. For Illinois players, eight is too many.

Eight as in losses. In a row. Nothing magical about it.

Game notes: 'We need to eliminate the string of mistakes'

CHAMPAIGN — Jeff George Jr. was back in charge at the start of the game.

And for every snap.

Just how he wants it to be. Except for the final score.

Last week's starter, Cam Thomas, sat out Saturday's 24-14 loss to Indiana with an undisclosed ailment.

George did some good (261 yards, two touchdowns) and some bad (eight sacks, three turnovers).

Upon Further Review: 'We're all pressing'

First impressions

— Illinois' first drive Saturday against Indiana? Three plays for five yards and a punt.

That trend continued throughout the first half. The Illini had the ball seven times. Blake Hayes punted seven times. Five of those punts came on three-and-outs by the Illini offense.

Scott Richey's grades: Indiana 24, Illinois 14

Player of the game: Indiana defensive tackle Jacob Robinson

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound junior was the leader of the Indiana defense that made Illinois quarterback Jeff George Jr.'s life miserable. Robinson sacked George twice (two of eight for the game), and also forced a George fumble.

Smith: 'Not a good football team right now'

Hear from Illinois coach Lovie Smith, tight end turned wide receiver Caleb Reams, quarterback Jeff George Jr. and linebacker Tre Watson following the Illini's 24-14 loss to Indiana on Saturday.

LIVE! Indiana

Indiana 24, Illinois 14. FINAL

The losing streak is now at eight games for the Illinois football program.

The Illini (2-8, 0-7 Big Ten) never led against Indiana on Saturday at Memorial Stadium, but Lovie Smith's Illini managed to pull within three, 17-14, early in the fourth quarter.

George back at the helm for Illini

CHAMPAIGN — The Illini Quarterback Club got a scoop during Friday's luncheon. Courtesy of Lovie Smith.

The coach was asked about the progress of freshman quarterback Cam Thomas.

"He's been out this week and probably not going to play (today)," Smith said "The future is looking bright for Cam. He's going to do a lot of good things for us."

Q&A Christian DiLauro: 'I can go anywhere'

He has played every offensive line position this season except center. And he is willing to give that a try, too. Christian DiLauro was in the starting lineup against Purdue. But at guard instead of his usual tackle spot. He has already earned one degree and is working on his second. Illinois football beat writer Bob Asmussen sat down with the Ohioan earlier this week:

Lineups: Indiana at Illinois football

Beat writer Bob Asmussen's skinny on his projected starters for Illinois and Indiana:

Illini (2-7 overall, 0-6 Big Ten)



3 Quarterback Jeff George Jr. 6-3 215 So.

22 Running back Kendrick Foster 5-9 190 Sr.

8 Wide receiver Dominic Thieman 6-3 190 So.

Talking points: Matt Weaver

We asked (Indiana Scout site) writer Matt Weaver his thoughts on the Hoosiers going into today's Illinois-Indiana game at Memorial Stadium.

What would a win against Illinois mean for Indiana?