Lavery broke in Kittner''s shoes

CHAMPAIGN – The fan in Section EE, Row 19 plans to pay special attention to Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner today.

He's been there. A year ago.

A weekly chat: QB Kurt Kittner

This week''s guest is QB Kurt Kittner.

B>Q. When did you first know you could play quarterback?

Ward keeps strong ties to football

Instead of Champaign, Charlie Ward ought be spending today in Green Bay, Pittsburgh or Minneapolis. He ought be getting ready to start one of Sunday's NFL games at quarterback. He ought to be one of the best in the game.

Ward never got the chance to try. Fears about his basketball plans kept NFL teams from drafting him. When the New York Knicks took him in the first round of the 1994 NBA draft, the former Florida State star stepped away from football. For good.

Juco transfers adjust slowly

CHAMPAIGN – When they signed on the dotted line in February, Ron Turner promised his seven junior college transfers they all would have a chance to start.

The Illinois football coach also added a warning:

Illini report

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Illinois' Steve Havard and Rocky Harvey are among the nation's top 30 in rushing yards. Havard is 29th at 100.7 per game. Harvey is 30th at 100.3.

Harvey's average really should be 150.5, which would put him eighth. Though he played against Washington State, Harvey didn't have any rushing attempts.

Jibberish and fancy footwork

CHAMPAIGN – Her fancy footwork and sharp shooting aren't the only things Jillian Ellis digs about Lisa Baldwin.

"I wanted to get someone out here with a stranger accent than mine,' " said Ellis, Illinois' England-born women's soccer coach. "Alleviates some of my pressure."


It's your lone opportunity to catch the Illini cross-country teams at home this fall.

It's Illinois' first opportunity to run against schools outside its district (the folks at the NCAA call this cross-referencing; helps them figure out who deserves at-large bids for the national meet).

Surprise, surprise: Big Ten full of them

We all knew the streak would end, the Hayden Fry retirement rumblings would begin and that Joe Paterno wouldn't do the hokey-pokey after joining the 300-win club.

But not everything this nonconference season has been so predictable.

Asmussen: Former Illini tackles new profession

Five years of Illinois football wasn't enough for David James. The former Illini linebacker is back for more.

He can't get on the field. The NCAA doesn't allow it. But he can get close as the sideline reporter for the Illini Sports Network. James, who only works home games, is in his first season as reporter, replacing Paul Marshall.

Tate: Fans critical of grounded air attack

Will the scapegoat please take two steps forward?

The Illini have lost the ability to throw and catch the football, and folks are demanding to know why.

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