Halsey's attention squarely on Rutgers

CHAMPAIGN – You will get nothing but kind words from E.B. Halsey about his home state school. But the Illinois tailback admits he can't wait to play Rutgers.

Or anybody. The Illini have less than two weeks before they open the season at home against the Scarlet Knights.

A greater appreciation

The University of Illinois football team took Sunday off to spend time with fans at the annual Fan Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium.

Who's that Illini?

I hold the Illini record for longest field goal, booting a 57-yarder against Purdue in 1975. In fact, I kicked four field goals of 50 yards, the most from that range in school history. I finished my Illini career in 1976 with 198 points, which was a school record at the time and now ranks tied for fifth in UI history. I was selected in the 10th round of the 1977 NFL draft by Minnesota but never played in the league.

Be our guess

A sampling from this year's predictions on the UI football season:

Dawson: Holdren's homecoming a happy one

Steve Holdren grew up dreaming of playing at the Assembly Hall, of sharing the court with Trent Meacham in front of a packed house.

In the dreams, he played for Illinois.

Worth noting

Some highlights from the UI men's basketball schedule:

Offensive unit has a reason to smile after improvement

CHAMPAIGN – From the start, it looked different for the Illinois offense. And better.

A week after a defense-dominated scrimmage at Rantoul High, the Illini offense showed it could play a bit, too.

Illini setter has plenty to smile about during friendly competition

CHAMPAIGN – In case you don't know who sophomore setter Stephanie Obermeier is, drop by Huff Hall for an Illinois volleyball match this fall.

Chances are, she's the one smiling.

Bob's random thoughts

News-Gazette beat writer Bob Asmussen weighs in on Illinois football:

Dietz: Ex-Illini has a big role in the media circus that is the Eagles

PHILADELPHIA – Amusing. Different. Wild.

Ask Greg Lewis to describe the Philadelphia Eagles' training camp, and he'll tell you it's all those things. Because of superstar Terrell Owens' highly publicized saga, NovaCare Complex has been more like the set of a daytime soap opera.