217 Today — Dec. 15, 2020

Tuesday December 15, 2020 Today’s headlines: Illinois received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Monday. The University of Illinois still doesn’t have emergency use authorization from the FDA for its COVID-19 saliva test, but anticipates having it by January.   Illinois public health officials reported 7,214 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, and an additional 103 deaths.   Hospitals in Central Illinois are preparing to […]

Illinois Fires Football Coach Lovie Smith

CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman announced Sunday that he has fired football coach Lovie Smith, a day after the Illini lost decisively to in-state rival Northwestern. Hear athletic director Josh Whitman’s Sunday afternoon news conference here. Smith compiled a 17-39 overall record in five seasons at the helm of the Illini […]

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 […]

Illini Football Opens Pandemic-Shortened Season At Wisconsin

CHAMPAIGN — The long-delayed Big Ten football season kicks off tonight in Madison, Wisconsin. The 14th-ranked Badgers take on Lovie Smith’s fifth Illini squad, which enters the contest as a three-touchdown underdog. Brian Moline previews the Illini football opener at Wisconsin with Robert Rosenthal from IlliniBoard.com. Coach Smith said he wasn’t offended by the oddsmakers’ […]

U Of I Athletic Officials Feeling ‘Excitement’ To Resume Football

URBANA — The Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday that it will resume its football season with an eight-game conference-only schedule beginning the weekend of October 23-24. The news came just over a month after league officials said the season would be postponed until at least next spring. But University of Illinois chancellor Robert Jones says […]

Big Ten Postpones All Fall Sports

CHAMPAIGN – The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday afternoon that it’s postponing all fall sports because of uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic. The sports affected at the University of Illinois are football, volleyball, women’s soccer, and cross country. Field hockey and men’s soccer, which are not varsity sports at Illinois, are also affected by the […]