A fans guide to Illini football

With seven Illini home football games, Memorial Stadium has never been as busy on Saturdays as it will be this fall. And if coach Ron Turner''s plans for a UI revival on the field bear fruit, the traffic into and around the venerable building – which is approaching its 81st birthday – figures to grow far busier, too. The News-Gazette''s Jeff Huth offers reminders on what fans need to know as they head out the door:

Former Illini Felicien reaches 100 hurdles finals

ATHENS, Greece  World champion Perdita Felicien and two Americans reached the final of the 100-meter hurdles Monday, an event that lost Gail Devers to injury a day earlier.

Joanna Hayes won her semifinal heat Monday night in 12.48 seconds, while U.S. teammate Melissa Morrison was second to Felicien in the other heat in 12.53. Felicien, a Canadian who attended the University of Illinois, won that heat in 12.49.

Catching up with former Illini

An update, as of Friday, on the 33 Illini who entered NFL training camps three weeks ago:

Scrimmage work of art for Beutjer

RANTOUL – If you wanted to see a bunch of sacks and turnovers, Rantoul High School was not the place to be Saturday night. Not with the quarterbacks wearing contact-free red jerseys. And not with Jon Beutjer in midseason form.

The sixth-year senior dominated Illinois'' annual scrimmage, completing 13 of 18 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns. All against the No. 1 defense.

Brett''s random thoughts

ESPN is offering the chance of a lifetime to one lucky college basketball fan. On its Web site, the sports/entertaintment juggernaut is running a contest to win dinner with Dick Vitale.

Kittner''s trek no treat

LATROBE, Pa. – Kurt Kittner was in Champaign working out with his old college team, doing a little volunteer coaching during training camp, when the call came Aug. 12 from Pittsburgh. The Steelers needed a quarterback, so the former Illini star packed up and was in the Steel City that night.

It was a familiar act for one of the NFL''s premier vagabonds this summer. Since being waived by the Atlanta Falcons in late April, he''s been with four other teams, running into rosters crowded with No. 1 draft picks and MVPs and fighting a losing battle with the NFL''s numbers game.

Hurless leads way

Senior Tara Hurless scored two goals and sophomores Jessica Bayne, Eva Strickland and Brittany Ward added one goal apiece as Illinois beat the Illinois Eclipse Select U16 team 5-0 Saturday in Champaign.

Dawson: He comes equipped with options

Nobody ever expected Fitzgerald to name his preferred prose, nor Emelda her favorite footwear.

You can''t ask Prince to single out one lyric.

Tate: Jones catching on at just the right time

RANTOUL – They orchestrated the prelude to "A Star Is Born" Saturday night at Bill Walsh Field.

Actually, the curtain went up a year ago, but Kendrick Jones hadn''t learned his lines.

Guess room

Predictions regarding this season''s Illinois football team: