Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Johnson can't mask discomfort

He will be introduced at tonight's season opener as Lucas Johnson, only because Sergio McClain's not at the mike.

Otherwise it'd be:

Illini Football Report

News and notes from Wednesday's practice:


Tony Francis, who missed last week's game at Ohio State while recovering from a concussion, took his first big hit Wednesday.

Illini Football Report


Illinois has its hands back on the "Illibuck," awarded to the winner of the Illini's game against Ohio State. Now it wants to keep the "Sweet Sioux Tomahawk Trophy," which is on the line Saturday against Northwestern.

Illini quarterback catches George atop season record books

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kurt Kittner is not a picky sort. So it was no surprise the Illinois quarterback didn't mind the unorthodox way he tied Jeff George's decade-old school record for touchdown passes in a season.

So what if the 5-yarder in the third quarter of Illinois' 46-20 rout at Ohio State resembled a bumper-pool shot?

Rossow: Turner can wait for new deal; he's having fun

COLUMBUS, Ohio –Ron Guenther could have done it when he bumped into Ron Turner late Saturday afternoon on a staircase beneath Ohio Stadium.

He could have told the Illinois football coach right then and there his contract was extended, a raise was on the way and new office furniture had been ordered. Just sign on the dotted line.

The jolly green giant

   Two new head coaches. Five new McDonald''s All-Americans. And a new way for Bob Knight to get in trouble.

   About the only constant in Big Ten men''s basketball these days is the team to beat.

Sweet relief

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Elmer Hickman was beginning to think he shouldn't have turned his back on Iowa.

Ever since he changed his mind coming out of Alton High – he originally committed to Hayden Fry – the Hawkeyes had roughed up the Illini, winning the three games he was eligible to play by a combined 106-45.

McGee's time well spent in return to action


Brandon Moore had the toughest job of any Illini on Saturday.

Johnson leaves Illinois bench

   CHAMPAIGN  For the first time since Week 2, Kirk Johnson played quarterback for Illinois in Saturday''s 27-7 loss to No. 2 Penn State.

   He''ll return to the bench against Iowa.

Good news: At least Illini broke a sweat

Ron Turner won't have his regulars in pads today like he did the afternoon after Minnesota, tackling each other despite all their aches and pains. He won't have them jog to Sadorus and back or dig ditches around Memorial Stadium.

He can save his motivational tricks for another day, because the Illini tried Saturday. They huffed and puffed for all four quarters.