The Daily Illini

Illini react to Big Ten season return, start of practice

Members of the Illinois football team practice on Sep. 17. Their season opener is scheduled for Oct. 24 at Wisconsin.

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer

September 21, 2020

Wednesday’s announcement of Big Ten football returning this fall has the whole Illini team excited. Before that, however, it was a rough go for the team, which included watching other teams play and numerous amounts of uncertainty regarding their own season.  Starting on Sept. 5, players from the Big Ten...

Big Ten releases 2020 football schedule

Junior Donny Navarro slips around a defender during football practice on Sept. 17. The Illini are scheduled to have their first home game of an abbreviated 2020 season on Halloween against Purdue.

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor

September 21, 2020

A clean-shaven Lovie Smith and his football team are back, and hopefully for good this time. After weeks of being told a season would have to wait until the spring, Big Ten presidents came together and decided to bring back a fall season, giving their programs a shot to compete for college football’s ...

Fans express excitement ahead of shortened Big Ten season

The Block I student section hoists a banner with the Illinois shield logo during the game against Minnesota at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 3, 2018. Though the north stands will be empty this season, fans are still excited about the return of Big Ten football.

By Jackson Janes, Assistant Sports Editor

September 21, 2020

Nov. 30, 2019, should have been a forgettable day in Illinois football history. As rain poured down on a cold fall day, an injury-ridden Illinois team limped into the final regular-season game against in-state rivals Northwestern with a bowl game berth already clinched. Ultimately the Illini fell 29-...

Medical advancements lead to reversal of Big Ten football postponement

Illini football head coach Lovie Smith waves at the team's first practice since the BIg Ten's decision to reinstate the fall football seaosn. The Illini have roughly four weeks to practice before the season begins.

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer

September 17, 2020

After an announcement came Wednesday morning, the Big Ten will officially be playing football in the fall again. Despite the league deciding to postpone football until the spring in August, a re-vote took place and after a unanimous decision, the season will now start the weekend of Oct. 23-24.  Un...

Big Ten reinstates 2020 football season

The Illini Football team erupts in celebration after defeating the Michigan State Spartans on Nov. 9, 2019. The Illini won 37-34. The Illini now have the chance to build on the success in 2019 as this season is set to start Oct. 23-24.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

September 16, 2020

Big Ten football is back. The conference announced in a press release on Wednesday it has voted to start its college football season on Oct. 23-24.  “The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) adopted significant medical protocols including daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac scre...

Illini hopeful for rise in NFL Draft prospects

Senior offensive lineman Alex Palczewski defends the quarterback during the game against Nebraska on Nov. 10, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Illini lost 54-35.

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer

September 14, 2020

bAfter having no one taken in the 2020 NFL draft, the Illini would love to get some names on the board next year. Luckily for them, there are a couple of guys on the team that are expected to get drafted already and a handful of others that can raise their stock to sneak into the 2021 NFL Draft. Th...

Ten former Illini currently reside on NFL rosters

Alum Nick Allegretti listens to coaches during a time out during a game in the 2018-2019 season. Allegretti was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs and will serve as a backup center.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

September 10, 2020

The NFL begins its 2020 season today with reigning Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football. While the league has been pretty quiet about players testing positive for COVID-19, the season looks to be in good shape. The college football season can’t...

Illini running backs look to strengthen offense in new roles

Junior Mike Epstein advances the ball down the field during the game against Penn State on Sept. 21, 2018.  Epstein and sophomore Chase Brown will be given a majority of the carries for the Illini this season.

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer

September 7, 2020

Having two strong running backs has been the norm for recent Illini teams, and this year looks to be no different. Despite losing both Reggie Corbin and Dre Brown to graduation, offensive coordinator Rod Smith has two more players in the backfield, Mike Epstein and Chase Brown, who are expected to s...

Watching other teams play: Epstein, Brown say upcoming college football start is bittersweet

Illinois running back Chase Brown runs the football at training camp on Aug. 6. The Illini had their season postponed just five days later.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

September 4, 2020

The Illinois football team should have spent the week preparing for a Thursday night kickoff at Memorial Stadium against one of the country’s best teams in Ohio State. Instead, the Illini spent the week resuming offseason workouts and practicing with no pads.  It’s been a somber few weeks for Big Ten f...

Illini athletes lead protest, call for unity

Illini football players junior Jamal Woods, junior Kendrick Green and senior Kendall Smith lead the way of the Black Lives Matter protest on Monday. The athlete-led protest included multiple on campus representatives from different Illini sports teams, including the football team.

By Brendyn Jones, Assistant On-Air Editor

August 31, 2020

When Illinois senior defensive back Nate Hobbs stepped up on a stone bench to address a crowd of hundreds of protestors in front of the Champaign Police Department, his message was clear. Unity. Noting there were people of every race represented in the athlete-led protest in Champaign on Monday evenin...

Five Illini named to Reese’s Senior Bowl Top 250

Junior Milo Eifler stands with his teammates before playing in the Redbox Bowl against California on Dec. 30, 2019.

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer

August 28, 2020

The Reese’s Senior Bowl, the top college football all-star game, has announced its Top 250 players watch list. This year's list includes five Illini: linebacker Milo Eifler, defensive back Nate Hobbs, wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe, center Doug Kramer and quarterback Brandon Peters. The five Illini ...

Offensive line brings experience, leadership to Illini

Senior offensive lineman Alex Palczewski protects senior quarterback Brandon Peters during the game against Akron on Sept. 14. The 2020 football season has been postponed to the spring due to COVID-19.

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer

August 27, 2020

Illinois football fans have a lot to look forward to if they get to see a spring college football season. In what’s anticipated to be the best Illini team of the Lovie Smith era, there are many bright spots that will look to shine and compete with the best the Big Ten has to offer.  Senior quarte...

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