Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Rossow: Receiving only part of Willis story

He started his Illinois career with an unlikely catch. He ends it on an uncomfortable couch.

"It's the not way I planned it," Lenny Willis said.

Listless effort leaves Illinois at crossroads

Maybe they'll fool us.

Maybe they'll go to Michigan and keep it respectable, give the Wolverines a game in front of 110,000 fans. Maybe they'll make Joe Paterno keep the first string in through the third quarter – or prevent Kirk Ferentz from winning his first Big Ten game at Iowa.

Young a man on the move

   CHAMPAIGN  For at least five more games, Illinois quarterback Walter Young will be the one catching passes, not throwing them.

   After that, it''s anybody''s guess. The redshirt freshman''s conversion from quarterback to receiver looked serious during the third quarter Saturday against Minnesota.

Rossow: UI, Gophers have room to improve

Congratulations, Purdue. You're the big winner.

Not today. The Boilermakers probably will lose their third straight game with No. 5 Michigan State in town.

Halfway Home

They like to play defense all over Michigan, like their quarterbacks at Penn State and love Glen Mason in Minnesota.

Four teams are unbeaten, seven teams are ranked and one is team kicking itself after tying a school record for biggest blown lead.

UI''s Wakefield struck down

   BLOOMINGTON, Ind.  Fred Wakefield had a seat on the 50-yard line but couldn''t have been more uncomfortable.

   The Illinois defensive end spent the second half and overtime of Saturday''s 34-31 loss to Indiana perched on a table at midfield, sicker than he''s ever been.

Heartbreaking loss makes the pain linger

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.

It's not like Illinois needed another shot to the chops, not after blowing a huge second-half lead thanks to an offense that crawled and a defense that stalled.

UI, graffiti a motivation combination

X's and O's still mean something.

But it's becoming clear that incentive is just as important as strategy when it comes to winning college football games. Even if it's concocted, as was the case with Michigan State last weekend.

Rossow: Illinois needs to get physical rest of the way

Fred Wakefield limped from Memorial Stadium early Saturday evening with a 10-pound reminder of Michigan State draped around his right ankle.

An ice pack.

"I'm sore right now," the Illinois defensive end said. "There was a lot of hitting going on out there. More than usual."

Big moment still ahead for Illinois

Steve Schnur knew Northwestern was legitimate when the voice of college football showed up in the TV booth, his sidekick showed up on the field, fans showed up in the stadium wearing purple and a legend showed up in the visitor's coach's office.

All on one magical Saturday in November 1995.