Leman ends razzing after nabbing first career interception

CHAMPAIGN – To test J Leman's hands and reflexes, Brit Miller constantly is tossing things his way.

Pads, footballs, textbooks. Anything within arm's reach.

Stands, standings give Illini reason to cheer

CHAMPAIGN – Frank Lenti was the first up the stairs. Followed quickly by his teammates. They raced into the new student section for an impromptu celebration. Backs were slapped. High-fives were exchanged. And defensive end Will Davis played the trombone.

Why all the fuss? How about the first win against a Top 25 team at Memorial Stadium in six years? How about the first 2-0 Big Ten start since 1991? How about a 27-20 win against No. 21 Penn State, which two years before had beaten the Illini by 53?

Tony's excellent adventure

We asked staff writer Tony Bleill to document his day at the new-look stadium — from tailgating to his final interview. Here's the scoop:

Benn breaks kickoff for score, then breaks tackles for TD

CHAMPAIGN – "Hit the wedge hard," Vontae Davis told his buddy.

Arrelious Benn followed orders. To perfection.

T.C. Williams grad arrives at UI with story to tell

Go ahead, it's OK to ask Mike Davis about "Remember the Titans." He understands.

"Everybody asks if the players come back to school to visit and if the movie is real," says Davis, a 6-foot-9 freshman on the Illinois basketball team.

Tate: What a difference two years makes

CHAMPAIGN – Two years ago, they left at halftime. On Saturday, the same Illini fans sat glued to their seats, sucking up the emotion while the Nittany Lions of Penn State trailed off to the losers' locker room.

It had been sooooo long. Oh, Illinois has managed to defeat some mediocre Big Ten teams at Memorial Stadium through the years. But home celebrations have been dulled by too many disappointments and a cumulative 36-102-1 Big Ten record posted by their conference victims here since 1993.

Jones, Ramos wear crowns

DANVILLE – Oakwood's newly named homecoming king extended his reign to the cross-country course Saturday.

Senior Justin Jones broke the school course record while running away with individual honors in the Thunder Run invitational at Kickapoo State Park.

Dear Tony

Ann Landers and Dear Abby have nothing on our sports know-it-all, Tony Bleill:

DeBruler keys sweep against Wildcats

EVANSTON – Illinois freshman outside hitter Laura DeBruler recorded 20 kills, leading her team to a 30-25, 30-25, 30-23 victory against Northwestern on Saturday night in Big Ten volleyball.

The Illini, who received 13 digs from Ashley Edinger, improved to 10-4, 2-2.

UI professor looking into qigong's benefits

Traditional Chinese qigong exercise, a series of gentle movements and meditation techniques, has advantages for about anyone, says University of Illinois Professor Weimo Zhu.

You can do it almost anywhere, without needing a lot of room or special equipment, and even older folks, and younger people not in the best of shape, generally find qigong to be an accessible way of working out.