Baldwin sparks Illinois

CHAMPAIGN – She gets knocked down, but she gets up again.

Illinois' Lisa Baldwin had to be helped off the field when she twisted her ankle in the first half of Sunday's game against Eastern Illinois, but she returned after intermission to score her second and third goals of the season and lead the Illini to a 3-0 victory.

Illinois shows gains in alumni match

CHAMPAIGN – She's the one freshman on the Illinois volleyball roster without a scholarship. And under other circumstances, she'd be up in Ann Arbor, Mich., right now preparing to play against the Illini.

Third year a key one for Turner

In his third year as Illinois football coach, Mike White led the team to its first bowl game in 19 seasons.

In his third year as Illinois football coach, John Mackovic helped his team share the Big Ten title.

In his third year as Illinois football coach, Gary Moeller went 2-8-1 and got fired.

So, Ron Turner, what's it going to be?

Tate: Potential there; wins must follow

Without addressing the question of the day – how many football games the Illini will win in 1999 – it is evident we'll see several distinct areas of improvement when Ron Turner's third team hosts Arkansas State on Saturday.

Count them:

Badger sounding like a broken record

They don't show a lot of Wisconsin Badger games where he's from, but Herschel Walker knows as much about Ron Dayne as any Big Ten defensive coordinator.

He's had his eye on the guy since the fall of 1996, when the beefy Badger had the nerve to break his 16-year-old NCAA freshman rushing record.

Tate: Turner puts Illini stock in Kittner

If arm strength is critical for a quarterback, experts agree that poise, foot dexterity and the instinct to make something out of nothing are doubly so.

In settling on Kurt Kittner, Illini coach Ron Turner is banking on the sophomore's ability to develop in the latter areas ... banking on a still-learning soph to survive short-term bumps to become the long-range answer.

Illini have a field day

CHAMPAIGN – A record crowd, a lot of offense and a win against a 1998 NCAA tournament team.

Can't be a better way to christen a new stadium than the way Illinois' women's soccer team and its fans went about it under the lights Friday night.

News and notes from Friday's practice

TACKLE TIME: Defensive tackle Mike McGee is ready for a big senior season. The Illinois coaches are counting on it.

Eleventh on the team in tackles last season, McGee is part of what he thinks will be an improved line.

UI's Griffin focusing on hook, books

Before you know it, Marcus Griffin's going to start wearing goggles, checking out Muslim names and dating Laker girls.

He has the rest of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shtick down pat.

UI goalie Bessette still part of the club

CHAMPAIGN – When Amy Bessette sticks her head out of Illinois' goal tonight, she'll see 120 yards of freshly mowed Kentucky bluegrass, several hundred fans in the stands and teammates running around in snazzy new uniforms.

It's a far cry from the Illinois women's soccer scene she experienced when she first arrived on campus.

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