Beutjer off injured list

Online Poster

Online Poster

By Lisa Koulias

After an injury sidelined quarterback Jon Beutjer last weekend, the sixth-year senior is scheduled to start this weekend’s game against Purdue, head coach Ron Turner said at Monday’s press conference.

Beutjer did not dress for the Illinois game on Saturday against Western Michigan but was cleared by doctors and practiced with the team on Sunday.

“I’m excited,” Beutjer said. “I know Purdue is a great football team. They’ve got a great defense and a great program. We are excited to play them. They are probably one of the toughest matches we will play all year.”

Beutjer was hit at the end of the first half in Illinois’ game against UCLA on Sept. 11. He was diagnosed with a bruised sternum.

The quarterback is still recovering and has some aches and pains, but he says that comes with the sport. Beutjer admits that while he was sitting in the hospital waiting for test results, he was worried that he played the last game of his collegiate career.

“I was just like, ‘Oh, not this again,'” Beutjer said. “It was something I hadn’t planned for, something that is out of my control. It was tough sitting in the hospital. It was hard to swallow, I was sitting there thinking 6-8 weeks (if it was a broken rib) – and that’s the season. Thank God it wasn’t any broken ribs and I’m 100 percent now.”

“Actually I am (surprised that I am better),” Beutjer said. “A week ago today I thought I would be out for a long time with the pain I was in. But the power of prayer – I was praying a lot, getting a lot of treatment and it helped.”

Beutjer practiced with the team for the first time on Sunday.

“I think Jon should be fine,” Turner said. “He practiced (Sunday) and did well, did a good job. We were just in shorts, but as far as throwing and moving around and everything he was fine. We expect him to go full practice (Tuesday). If he’s healthy he’s the starter.”

Big Ten bonanza

A pep rally is set for Wednesday on the Quad to help kick off the Illini football, volleyball and soccer Big Ten home openers this weekend. Festivities are scheduled to begin an 12 p.m. and all students and fans are invited to attend.

Head coaches of each of the three teams will be speaking, as well as interim chancellor Richard Herman. There will be performances from the cheerleaders and Marching Illini as well.

Sinclair says

“The last real taste, the only real taste I’ve had of a winning season is my freshman year. I just want to go out and try to turn this thing around for the young guys. We’ve got a great group of younger players on this team and I think if we can get that taste of victory and a winning season in their mouth, then it will only help them down the road as far as coming back next year and the year after that.”

– senior linebacker Matt Sinclair on wanting to turn around Illinois football and have a winning season this year.