Friday forecast

The News-Gazette's weekly look at prep football:

Fans continue to buy in

CHAMPAIGN – Being able to use the term "while supplies last" is no longer a goal for the Illinois ticket office. It's reality.

The Penn State and Wisconsin games were sellouts, and tickets are gone for the Oct. 20 game against Michigan. That leaves two home games, Oct. 27 against Ball State and Nov. 17 against Northwestern, with seats available. And those numbers are dwindling.

Illini Insider

A weekly review and preview of Illini sports:

Countdown to Iowa: 2 days

That's the fact:

Junior recruits give Illini their word

CHAMPAIGN - The oral commitments of two highly regarded juniors are expected to put some punch in the backcourt of the future at Illinois.

Pledges from Peoria Central guard D.J. Richardson and Warren guard Brandon Paul also allow the program something else it needed: recruiting mojo.

SJ-O senior back on course

ST. JOSEPH – In running, they say it's just as important to be strong mentally as it is to be strong physically, and no one knows the reality of that better than St. Joseph-Ogden senior Hannah Hogan.

As a freshman, Hogan burst onto the cross-country scene and immediately opened eyes with her ability. She won regional and sectional championships and had a top-10 finish at state. Many thought by this time she would have at least one state championship under her belt.

Salt Fork freshman golfer takes aim at state

CATLIN – Salt Fork's boys' golf team was riding high for much of this season.

Playing four freshmen, one sophomore and one senior, the Storm was undefeated during the dual- and triangular-meet portion of its season.

Countdown to Iowa: 3 days

That's the fact:

Tate: Big Ten could be on pace for another 2-loss champ

CHAMPAIGN – Once in the last 15 years, two-loss teams shared the Big Ten football title.

Five conference members already have reached or surpassed that unlucky number, and three more could reach two losses if the home teams win Saturday when Michigan (2-0) hosts Purdue (1-1), Penn State (1-2) hosts Wisconsin (2-1) and Michigan State (0-2) hosts Indiana (2-1).

Tisdale's focus turns to defense

CHAMPAIGN – Bruce Weber approached Mike Tisdale on Monday with some advice.

"I said to him, 'You've got to guard somebody, too,' " the coach said.