The answer to the QB question ... coming soon

RANTOUL — Illinois opens the season two weeks from today against Youngstown State.

Wes Lunt, Reilly O’Toole or Aaron Bailey will start at quarterback.

Illinois coach Tim Beckman said Friday night the Illini should have a starter in place by no later than next Wednesday, but he didn’t indicate who it would be.

Kroner's football tour '14: Ridgeview/Blue Ridge

COLFAX — When Blue Ridge and Ridgeview get together, it could be Blue View.

Or, it could be the moniker administrators from the schools chose: The Ridge.

Football coach Skip Sutton hopes the new name translates into success.

“We’ll win some games,” said Sutton, whose Ridgeview-only team was 0-9 a year ago, following a playoff berth in 2012.

Tate: Injuries aid and hinder Phillips

Without injuries, football would be the team sport most seriously challenging perfection.

But devastating as they can be, injuries sometimes create opportunities that allow the overlooked to excel.

Sports Talk 8-15-14

Sports Talk 8-15-14: Play now!

Brian Moline talks Cardinals baseball with Craig Edwards from Viva El Birdos, Illini football with Steve Kelly from Camp Rantoul, and Illini volleyball with Anna Dorn.


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Beckman on Dudek: 'He impresses me'

Illinois coach Tim Beckman gives the lowdown on what he likes out of freshman Mike Dudek. 

Matt Daniels/The News-Gazette

Daniels: A look at the right tackles

Illinois football beat writer Matt Daniels gives the inside scoop on how position battles are faring for the Illini during preseason camp. Today’s glance hones in on the right tackles:

Who has left?

Coaches' corner: Mike Bellamy

RANTOUL — A year ago, Mike Bellamy was faced with the same situation he is now.

He was coaching wide receivers who were not too familiar to people outside of Champaign-Urbana. No one who found his way onto any preseason award watch lists or even merited discussion among the top wideouts in the Big Ten.

Tate: Balance and dollars don't mix

If they say it’s not about the money, explain these numbers:

—$11 billion: The 14-year NCAA tournament TV deal with CBS and Turner Broadcasting.

— $470 million: ESPN’s per-year contract for the new four-team NCAA football playoff.

The freshman belongs, dude

RANTOUL — Go to the highlight tape.

Watch the one-handed catch Mike Dudek pulled in during a high school game last September against Naperville Central.

It leaves one shaking his or her head in wonder. The true freshman wide receiver hasn’t done anything to diminish his stature with the second week of fall training camp nearing a close at Illinois.

Camp Rantoul notes: Defense impressing coaches, players

RANTOUL — Walking off the Memorial Stadium turf last week, Alex Hill praised the Illinois defense.

Unprompted, no less.

“I tell you what, man, our defense has been getting after us and showing us some things,” the Illinois offensive lineman said. “They’re making us better, and we love it. They’ve really improved over this summer and offseason.”

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