College football notes: Illini defense stands strong

To understand how much Youngstown State had the ball in its game against Illinois on Saturday, just look at tackle totals for Illini defenders.

It only takes one: Feher delivers winner

ROCHESTER, Mich. — Illinois outshot Oakland 23-3 through the first 90 minutes of Sunday’s nonconference game. Seven of those shots were on goal. None found the back of the net.

The Illini kept up their offensive pressure in overtime, and junior Amy Feher delivered the golden goal in the 98th minute to give Illinois a 1-0 victory against the Grizzlies and its third straight win.

Starks better 'physically and mentally'

CHAMPAIGN — Since transferring to Illinois in the spring of 2013, you’ve hardly heard Ahmad Starks’ name without hearing Aaron Cosby’s name. Cosby, the transfer from Seton Hall, and Starks, the transfer from Oregon State, both sat out last season, and the guards are expected to greatly improve the perimeter shooting woes the Illini experienced during the 2013-14 season.

Best of Fred: No. 49

The longer I live, the more people I know who’ve died. Someone once said it’s an ironic fact of life, but that doesn’t seem right.

The list of athletes, former athletes, coaches and former coaches on this list is much too lengthy to even consider a necrology.

MJ's opening tip: Ranking the top ex-Illini in the pros

Ranking the pro careers of 10 former Illini currently signed to professional basketball rosters
1. Deron Williams    Brooklyn Nets (NBA)    Three-time All-Star beginning 10th NBA season

MJ's Q&A: Walter Offutt

The Indianapolis native began his college career at Ohio State but eventually followed former Buckeyes assistant John Groce to Ohio, where he helped lead the Bobcats to the Sweet 16 during the 2012 NCAA tournament. Offutt has once again followed Groce, this time to Illinois, where the former shooting guard is a grad manager on the Illini staff.

No cupcakes: No. 11 Illinois sweeps UNC

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois volleyball coach Kevin Hambly sets his team’s schedule with a purpose. He isn’t interested in wasting any matches before Big Ten play starts.

Hambly wants his teams tested early and tested often. There’s no pushover on the Illini’s slate.

MJ's random thoughts: Pearl back on trail

— C-U’s favorite coach, Bruce Pearl, is back in the college game, and the new Auburn head coach is on quite the recruiting roll. Since his show-cause penalty from the NCAA expired last week, Pearl has landed a pair of commitments. The former Tennessee coach got four-star forward Horace Spencer and Maryland transfer Trayvon Reed to pledge to the Tigers.

Saturday's prep highlights: Centennial cruises

In football
■ Centennial 62, Morton 12. Jimmy Fitzgerald was 12 of 17 for 238 yards and four touchdowns for the Chargers. The game was postponed in the first quarter Friday night tied at 6.

Coach’s idea allows teams to ‘ease in’

CHAMPAIGN — Cross-country meets, in and of themselves, are not inherently different.

The terrain is occasionally altered from meet to meet. The layout can vary. But the basic concept remains unchanged.