Smith emerging from shadows of sister, better-known Illini

CHAMPAIGN – One more game, 12-year-old Jamar Smith pleads. I can beat you. Gimme one more game!

Britney Jordan isn't having it. Satisfied with another one-on-one beatdown of her stepbrother, she scoops up the basketball under her arm and leaves Jamar scowling on the deserted court at Peoria's Landmark Recreation Center.

Rossow: Upon further review

– Scratch those bowl thoughts. Illinois needs four wins in its final six games to play in Orlando, Fla., or Phoenix and will be an underdog in five of those games. Unless they improve tackling, play-calling and special teams in a jiffy, Illinois might have trouble even reaching the four-win mark.

Paul's random thoughts

Another matchup with Arizona will be the most difficult game for the Illini on their vanilla nonconference schedule. I'm starting to think it might be their most difficult game, period.

Anderson, Rowe defeated

TULSA, Okla. – Juniors Kevin Anderson and Ryan Rowe had their bid for an ITAdoubles title fall short Friday night. On Saturday, both lost in the singles draw.

Anderson was swept by Georgia's top-seeded John Isner 7-5, 6-3.

Tate: Indiana foils best-laid plans

CHAMPAIGN – Every week throughout the autumn, coaches at the prep, college and pro levels go deep into the night studying film to locate their next opponents' shortcomings.

And universally, once they have forged ahead by taking advantage of those weaknesses, they become conservative. It's more than human nature. It's stamped on the coaching cerebrum.

Not all fun, games for Williams

CHAMPAIGN – Illini quarterback Juice Williams can make football look easy. It's like the freshman is playing a video game rather than a Big Ten opponent.

A sack, an interception: not much seems to creep under his skin. He just pops in another quarter and calls the next play.

It's your business: Foudini's moves catering business to Tolono

In the nine years Foudini's has been in the catering business, it's been operated from two different bar kitchens and a location in Campustown. Now, Jim Singer, one of the owners, is thrilled with Foudini's latest home in Tolono, where people have been lining up at the door on Thursdays when he and his partners fire up their grills and serve barbecue lunch and dinner to the public.

Foudini's is now at 107 N. Watson St. in Tolono. For non-natives needing a reference point, that's next to Absolute Style, Singer said.

A lot has changed in last 25 years at University of Illinois

Sure, you can go home again, but if it's been a while, you might not recognize it.

How long has it been since you've taken a stroll through the Quad, stopped into a watering hole on Green Street or seen a game at Memorial Stadium? Five, 10, 25 years?

Hairy situation for defensive tackle Norwell

CHAMPAIGN – Go ahead, make fun of Chris Norwell's hair. We dare you. We double dare you.

But a warning before you make the mistake of your life: check to see that the rest of the Norwell family isn't in the room.

Catching up with ... Kirk Johnson

His Illinois career was limited to 11 games and 127 passes. But Kirk Johnson came up big late in the 1998 season, leading Illinois to a much-needed win against Indiana. The victory, the third of the season, pointed the team in the right direction going into the breakthrough 1999.