Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Senior Waller''s season ends with broken ankle

   MINNEAPOLIS  Eugene Wilson didn''t need a doctor to tell him his roommate was out for the season. The Illinois cornerback diagnosed Trayvon Waller''s injury before the first trainer arrived on the scene.

   "I was disturbed as soon as I saw it," Wilson said. "I saw his leg, and I knew right off the bat that he was done. I looked at it, and you could tell it was broke."

Illini could turn loss into gain

A caller to a local radio show said this week he was in a way glad Illinois lost to Michigan after officials fumbled three calls. His reasoning was the Illini wouldn't have received as much national attention even had they upset the Wolverines, which is true.

The blown calls got Bush-Gore treatment. Usually it's Urbana City Council treatment. The last time so many people noticed Illinois football was when Lou Tepper was fired, and that type of publicity didn't exactly help the program.

Rossow: Memo to Illinois – get over it

CHAMPAIGN – They could pour over videotape on the supposed fumbles until the VCR broke.

They could rant until Monday's 8 a.m. biology class about their wretched luck against Michigan at Memorial Stadium, where it seems the Wolverines haven't lost since ditching the leather helmets.

Rossow: Powell has an appetite for success

Roger Powell’s senior year in high school is off to a rousing start.

This weekend, the Illinois basketball recruit was introduced as homecoming king at Joliet. And his knee’s as healthy as his appetite, which the local Lion’s Club can tell you all about.

Big name, big crowd, big chance

The Illinois resurgence is fourth and inches from completion.

The attendance says so. More than 70,000 fans will squeeze into Memorial Stadium for tonight's game, making it a good idea to bring reliable earplugs and an even better bladder. It's the first sellout since 1995, when Illinois' idea of a big day on offense was a touchdown and a field goal in the same half.

Rossow: Illinois as a Ward winner at quarterback

After most home games, Dustin Ward slips unnoticed into a tailgate party thrown by friends of his parents on the west side of Memorial Stadium. He's been a guest of Gary Lovingfoss and Tim Bridges since he wore diapers, and his routine hasn't changed since he went off to college.

But when the Illinois redshirt freshman showed up late Saturday afternoon, he was greeted by applause from the group of about 20. He grabbed a sandwich, a soda and everyone's attention, his face turning an Indiana shade of red in the process.

Cal punter wows ''em

   CHAMPAIGN  Chances are, most of the 50,181 fans at Memorial Stadium on Saturday had no idea who Nick Harris was before the Illinois-California game. In central Illinois, Cal''s punter can toil with the same anonymity as the person who reads your water meter.

   Yet, before the game was half over, Harris had the crowd buzzing, the Illini talking to themselves and a national television audience enthralled with a part of the sport that normally elicits a quick trip to the bathroom.

Rossow: Credit mother with an assist on Illini recruit

Luther Head is playing in a basketball tournament this weekend in Baltimore.

Mom misses him dearly. His four younger brothers and sisters don't want the trip to end.

"They get his bedroom," said Head's mother, Bonnie Gallion. "Right now we're kind of short on rooms around here. Sometimes it's hard to find a place to sleep, but not when he's gone."

Adversity would do UI some good

If Illinois football has a problem, it's that success has come too easily this season.

Other than a separated shoulder here and a bad first half there, Illinois has had less to worry about than either U.S. basketball team in Sydney.

Rossow: Big Ten teams stay on their toes

Lon Kruger left for the NBA, Brian Cook left with Team USA and Cory Bradford left for Hawaii to collect, in order, a huge paycheck, international experience and NBA autographs.

Ron Guenther went golfing overseas and came back with a birdie in Bill Self, who two-stepped in from Tulsa to give the program a welcome energy boost. The big guys still are aching, the little guys still are shooting and recruits from Chicago finally are listening.