Illinois rides 'clutch' Reda

EAST LANSING, Mich. – With his right foot, Jason Reda punched a football into the kicking net behind a nerve-racked Illini sideline. The game clock ticked down to 00:10.

"I couldn't really see (the field)," the kicker said. "I was kind of watching it on the screen."

Illinois safety Mitchell trying to make a name for himself

EAST LANSING, Mich. – It has happened so often, the players have lost count. At least once a day. Often more than that.

In the locker room. In the Varsity I Room. On the field. A teammate, a coach or a trainer will shout out "Juice." And two heads will turn in unison.

Catching up with ... Mike White

If you are the Illinois football team and you want to beat Michigan State, who do you call? Easy, former Illini coach Mike White. In eight tries against the Spartans, White went 6-1-1. Maybe his finest moment against Michigan State came in his finale, the Illini tying the Rose Bowl-bound Spartans at East Lansing. White's sixth win in a row against Michigan State came in 1985, also at Spartan Stadium:

Bizzarri shatters school record

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Angela Bizzarri broke Illinois' 5-kilometer freshman record Friday, finishing fifth overall at the Notre Dame Invitational in 16 minutes, 56 seconds. The UI women earned fifth.

Asmussen: Why do these guys have pull?

Earlier in the week, Chicago sportscaster Mike Adamle announced his withdrawal from the Harris Poll, which helps determine the BCS title-game pairing.

Adamle disqualified himself because his brother Vic coaches at Minnesota. Like the Gophers are ever playing Jan. 8.

Millington makes trip, might get on field

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Though he likely won't start, Illinois offensive tackle Akim Millington is available for today's game.

"I think it's going to be a game-time decision," coach Ron Zook said. "If we need him, he'll be ready to go."

A weekly chat with Bob Asmussen

This week's guest: center Ryan McDonald.

10 questions for ... Tom Lemming

When he first dabbled in college football recruiting nearly three decades ago, not many people paid attention. Now Tom Lemming is a wanted man. A fountain of information and the godfather of his trade, the Barrington resident has his own TV show on CSTV (6:30 p.m. Thursdays). Sports editor Jim Rossow caught up to Lemming on his way to a high school game in Mississippi to talk about Juice WIlliams, Ron Zook and the role of the Internet.

Tate: Spartans mired in instability

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Illinois football fans aren't alone in their misery.

Fan disappointment is everywhere, only in varying forms.

Big Ten football preview

Jim Rossow's random thoughts: