The Daily Illini

Peters, entire offense shut down by Wisconsin

Quarterback Brandon Peters faces pressure from the Wisconsin defense in the first game of the season Friday night. The Illini lost to the Badgers 45-7.

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor

October 24, 2020

This was it. This was supposed to be Lovie Smith’s most talented offense yet. Veteran quarterback? Check. Experienced offensive line? Check. Talented receiver core? Check. The Illini were going to prove the pundits wrong and put up a fight — or even upset — the Wisconsin Badgers. That was before the te...

Illini fall to Badgers 45-7 in first game of season

Sophomore Tarique Barnes returns a fumble for a touchdown against Wisconsin on Friday night. The Illini lost to the Badgers 42-7.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

October 23, 2020

The first Illinois football game in 298 days was a highly-anticipated matchup at the No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers who the Illini shocked in an upset just over a year ago. But, Friday night’s Big Ten opener didn’t feature a Tony Adams interception, a Josh Imatorbhebhe touchdown or a James McCourt walk-off fie...

Illinois travels to Wisconsin to open 2020 season

Redshirt senior Brandon Peters throws the ball during practice on Oct. 15.

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer

October 22, 2020

The Illini open up their 2020 season Friday night in Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Wisconsin Badgers at 7 p.m. CST.  Friday night’s game will be a rematch of college football’s biggest upset of 2019, a game in which the 31-point underdog Illini defeated the No. 6 ranked Badgers on a go-ahe...

Experienced, homegrown offensive line to lead Illini

Senior offensive lineman Doug Kramer prepares to snap the ball during practice on Oct. 15. The Illini will face the Badgers on Friday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

October 22, 2020

Senior quarterback Brandon Peters and his plethora of receiving weapons have garnered the preseason hype of the Illinois fandom. While senior wide receivers Josh Imatorbhebhe and Trevon Sidney and junior tight end Luke Ford will likely bring an exciting flair to the offense, their success won’t happen w...

Illini to rely on defense for another Badger upset

Linebacker Jake Hansen smiles while holding the ball during football practice on Oct. 15.

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor

October 21, 2020

A year ago, Wisconsin came into Champaign as 31-point favorites against a reeling Illinois team. Sixty minutes of game time later, and the Illini pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Big Ten history, stunning the Badgers 24-23. Flash-forward a year and pundits have a similar prediction.  Desp...

Two top-five teams fall in final weekend before Big Ten returns

Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm looks on during a game against Penn State at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 5, 2019.

By Jackson Janes, Assistant Sports Editor

October 20, 2020

The final week of college football without the Illini and the Big Ten saw two top-five teams fall, which could have major implications for Big Ten teams aiming for a college football playoff berth. With Illinois 23.5-point underdogs at No. 14 Wisconsin on Friday, this week in college football once a...

Illinois slate ranked easiest to hardest

Illinois head coach Lovie Smith instructs during practice on Oct. 12. The season kicks off on Friday against Wisconsin in Madison.

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer

October 19, 2020

Despite what is considered to be the best team of the Lovie Smith era so far in Champaign, the Illini are not projected to perform well in the Big Ten in this weird nine-game season. 247Sports projects Illinois to finish last in the Big Ten West, and most analysts have Illinois finishing at 1-7 or 2-...

Josh Imatorbhebhe welcomes brother, leadership role

Senior wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe turns to catch a pass during football practice on Oct. 15.

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor

October 17, 2020

It’s been one year since senior wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe packed his bags and left the University of Southern California for Lovie Smith’s program. The results? Nine touchdown catches, two program-changing victories and the school’s first bowl game since 2014. While the Illini gear up for an...

McCourt uses Wisconsin game as motivation for improvement

Illinois senior kicker James McCourt kicks the game winning field goal during the game against Wisconsin on Oct. 19 at Memorial
Stadium. Since then, McCourt has been practicing to ensure he has the consistency he wants as a Big Ten kicker.

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer

October 15, 2020

On Oct. 19, then-junior James McCourt ran onto the field, about to attempt the biggest kick of his college career. The Illini, down 23-21 against the No. 6 team in the country, had three seconds left on the clock to pull ahead and win the game. McCourt lined up for a 39-yard field goal to try and lift his...

Former Illini continue to see playing time in NFL

Baltimore Ravens defensive end Jihad Ward walks behind defensive tackle Justin Madubuike on Aug. 19. Ward is an Illinois alum who started playing for the Ravens in 2019.

By Jackson Janes, Assistant Sports Editor

October 15, 2020

On Oct. 23, Lovie Smith is expected to field his most talented team since he took over the head coaching position in 2016. While Illinois did not see any players taken in the 2020 NFL draft, 10 former players are currently on professional rosters, though this list is expected to increase next year. Let’s...

Washington aims for consistency in sophomore season

Sophomore wide receiver Casey Washington runs a drill during practice on Oct. 7. After making an important catch against Wisconsin last fall, Washington hopes to come back strong.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

October 15, 2020

The story of how an unranked Illinois football team upset No. 6 Wisconsin last October has been written and retold countless times since then-junior James McCourt nailed the game-winning field goal as time expired. McCourt’s kick, defensive back Tony Adams’ interception and wide receivier Josh Imator...

Week six separates contenders from pretenders

Oklahoma defensive lineman Marcus Stripling (33) and linebacker Brian Asamoah (24) celebrate a missed Texas field goal in triple overtime at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday. Oklahoma won in quadruple overtime, 53-45.

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor

October 13, 2020

The sixth week of the college football season provided some answers to fans while also making some scratch their heads. Ranging from a quadruple overtime game to a dominant victory from college football’s premier programs, fans across the Midwest were treated to some entertainment before the Big Te...

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