Tens Of Thousands Gather For Illini Football Opener: Few Masks Worn, No Vaccinations Required

An estimated 40,000 football fans, most unmasked, packed Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois Saturday for the first full-capacity game since the start of the pandemic.  Spectators didn’t need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to watch the Illini go head-to-head with the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, said Kent Brown, Illinois’ associate director of athletics. […]

Illinois Fends Off Nebraska In 30-22 Season Opening Win

CHAMPAIGN — Under a new coach, with fans packed into the stands for the first time since 2019 and its backup quarterback at the helm, Illinois beat Nebraska 30-22 to kick off the 2021 college football season. Illinois starting quarterback Brandon Peters left the game holding his left (non-throwing) shoulder after being sacked hard near […]

Illini Top Mistake-Prone Huskers 41-23

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Fighting Illini football team used five Nebraska turnovers to top the Cornhuskers 41-23, in what head coach Lovie Smith called a historic victory. “I’m told we haven’t won in Lincoln since 1924, when Red Grange played,” Smith said. “Whenever something like that happens, of course, it’s a big deal.” Quarterback Brandon […]

Illini Football Garners First Win In 23-20 Nail-Biter At Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — The third time was the charm for Illini placekicker James McCourt. McCourt drilled a 47-yard field goal with three seconds remaining to give Illinois a 23-20 win over Rutgers, Saturday afternoon in Piscataway, New Jersey. He said he wasn’t phased by missing two attempts earlier in the 4th quarter. “That first kick […]

Gophers Wallop Shorthanded Illini 41-14

CHAMPAIGN — Lovie Smith made no excuses for his Illini football team’s dismal performance in Saturday’s 41-14 blowout loss to previously winless Minnesota. He put the blame squarely on himself. “I’m the head football coach. Everything comes back to me,” Smith said. “I didn’t perform the way I need to.”   Mo Ibrahim set a Gopher […]

Illini Lose First Home Opener Since 1995, 31-24 To Purdue

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois lost another football game Saturday, but unlike last week against Wisconsin, this one wasn’t a laugher. Purdue came to town a seven-point favorite, and won by a touchdown. The Boilermakerss got 376 yards passing.from Aidan O’Connell, who converted 29 of 36 attempts including two touchdowns.   Illinois had a chance to tie the […]

Badgers Pummel Illini In Season Opener 45-7

MADISON — Illini football tripped out of the gate and never found its footing in a season-opening 45-7 drubbing at Wisconsin last night. The Badgers dominated both sides of the ball, led by quarterback Graham Mertz, who converted 20 of his 21 passing attempts for 248 yards and five touchdowns — tying the all-time Wisconsin record in his first […]

Without A Field To Play On, The Marching Illini Meet Over Zoom

URBANA – As a freshman member of the University of Illinois’ marching band, Matthew Kostbade was looking forward to performing on the field. “I can see Memorial Stadium from this window right now and it pains me to look at it especially on Saturday’s when I know we could be out there with my drum […]