Players to watch: Illinois vs. Western Illinois

Illinois: Arrelious Benn

Year: Freshman

Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Height: 6-feet-2

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    Weight: 215

    Benn and the rest of the freshman class should see a lot of playing time in their first career home game. Benn led the Illini in catches and receiving yards last week against the Tigers, grabbing five balls for 74 yards. The versatile receiver also carried the ball three times and showed that he will be a threat anytime he touches the ball. The most impressive thing about Benn’s play last week was his fearless ability to go up for the ball in double coverage and come down with it. Although he was dinged up on his big catch on the sideline, the Washington, D.C. native showed his toughness by coming back and making a big play late in the fourth quarter on fourth down.

    Western Illinois: Patrick Stoudamire

    Year: Sophomore

    Position: Defensive Back

    Hometown: Portland, Ore.

    Height: 5-feet-11

    Weight: 185

    Stoudamire came away with two interceptions in Western Illinois’ 29-26 four overtime victory over South Dakota State. As a true freshman last season Stoudamire played in nine games and worked his way into a starting cornerback spot for the last four games. Now a full-time starter as a sophomore, he helped the Leathernecks hold the Jackrabbits to only 139 yards passing in their season opener. Stoudamire will most likely have the difficult task of covering the bigger Benn and, if he can keep the Illini passing attack in check, the Leathernecks could have a chance to pull off an upset.

    ILLINI OF THE WEEK

    #10 Eddie McGee

    Position: Quarterback

    Height: 6-feet-4

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    Year: RS Freshman

    From: Washington, D.C.

    Last game: McGee went 17-31 with two interceptions and two touchdowns, one passing and one rushing in last game against Missouri. He threw for 257 yards and also had eight rushes for 46 yards. He entered the game to replace Juice Williams.

    Fact: McGee attended H.D. Woodson High School, the same high school that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich graduated from.