Preserve following together with beat author Scott Richey from Memorial Stadium, as Illinois faces Purdue in its 2020 dwelling opener:
The in depth listing of Illinois gamers dominated out creates extra than simply Matt Robinson-related questions.
With Doug Kramer out, Kendrick Inexperienced slides over to begin at heart. Jordyn Slaughter can be subsequent in line at guard, however he is additionally out. Per my on air colleagues Brian Barnhart and Martin O’Donnell, beginning reverse Verdis Brown on the different guard spot right this moment might be Alex Pihlstrom.
You’d by no means know that by wanting on the “depth chart” offered by Illinois. No backup offensive linemen are listed. In any respect.
Enjoyable truth about Pihlstrom. He arrived in Illinois as a walk-on in 2017. As a decent finish. He redshirted that season, did not play in 2018 and appeared in only one recreation (in opposition to Rutgers) in 2019. As a decent finish.
Pihlstrom did not make his transfer to offensive line till this season. His first begin? He will get to cope with Purdue’s defensive position duo of Lorenzo Neal and George Karlaftis. Not ideally suited.
Good factor Matt Robinson obtained a pair begins beneath his belt final season when Brandon Peters missed two video games due to concussions. Robinson goes to wish them.
Until Illinois offensive coordinator takes a giant swing and goes with Coran Taylor or freshman Deuce Spann, Robinson will get the beginning right this moment in opposition to Purdue after Brandon Peters examined constructive for COVID-19 (now out 21 days) and Isaiah Williams was contact traced.
Robinson has performed in 12 video games in his Illinois profession. The San Juan Capistrano, Calif., native has accomplished 45 of 83 passes for 486 yards, one landing and one interception in these video games. He is additionally rushed 40 instances for minus-16 yards.
Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters and tight finish Griffin Moore each examined constructive for COVID-19 on Thursday and might be sidelined for 21 days per Massive Ten protocols. Contact tracing additionally sidelined a number of different Illini.
The complete listing of gamers dominated out for right this moment’s recreation together with Peters and Moore (not all COVID-related) consists of: defensive again Christian Bobak, linebacker Shammond Cooper, offensive lineman Brevyn Jones, large receiver Kerby Joseph, offensive lineman Doug Kramer, defensive again Michael Marchese, kicker James McCourt, offensive lineman Moses Okpala, defensive lineman Keith Randolph, large receiver Trevon Sidney, offensive lineman Jordyn Slaughter and quarterback Isaiah Williams.
First merchandise of observe concerning the roster for right this moment’s recreation. Illinois’ specialists have been the primary gamers out on the sector earlier than official warmups began. Beginning kicker James McCourt was not amongst them.n
They’re again now in full uniform, and McCourt remains to be not on the sector. Danville native Caleb Griffin and freshman large receiver Owen Hickey are the one two getting kicks in proper now. I assume it is Hickey. He is the one No. 84 on the Illinois roster.
Kickoff at Memorial Stadium is simply lower than two hours away, and a lot of the Information-Gazette contingent is about up in our personal sales space for Illinois’ dwelling opener in opposition to Purdue.
The entry course of right here in Champaign was definitely extra thorough than final week in Madison, Wis., the place we have been all simply form of waived by means of. Not so at Memorial Stadium.
Buying a credential this morning required a temperature test and a check-in for contact tracing function. Masks have been required (and stay required always), and social distancing, after all, is the usual for the day.
It isn’t a university soccer recreation in 2020 if the pregame dialogue would not not less than point out the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. That Illinois opened the season final week at Wisconsin and the Badgers have paused all group actions with 16 energetic instances means the coronavirus turns into a storyline.
Lovie Smith maintained earlier this week his group was clear. To play novice epidemiologist, so was Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz. Till he wasn’t.
Will there be any shock adjustments to Illinois’ listing of obtainable gamers come right this moment’s 11 a.m. kickoff in opposition to Purdue? We’ll see.
Beat author Scott Richey breaks down the Illini dwelling opener
Get to know the first-year starter, who has fairly the backstory, earlier than Illinois hosts Purdue on Saturday
Turning the main focus to soccer, if there was ever a necessity for a “get proper” recreation this is able to be it for Illinois. A 45-7 loss within the season opener with the offense scoring zero of these seven factors was an alarming starting to a 2020 season the place expectations are (have been?) definitely larger.
The Illinois offense must get on monitor. In any means attainable. The Illini protection has to keep away from repeating its personal errors from the Wisconsin recreation. Particularly blown coverages galore and the lack to get constant stress on the opposing quaterback. Purdue has sufficient weapons within the passing recreation even when Rondale Moore would not play to doubtlessly carve up the Illinois secondary if these errors aren’t fastened.
Gameday Central right here at IlliniHQ.com would be the solely cease it’s a must to make for you Illinois-Purdue protection all through the day from Memorial Stadium the place Bob Asmussen, Loren Tate and Scott Richey might be posted up for the afternoon.
Till kickoff, make amends for all of the Illinois soccer protection from the week:
Are you prepared for some soccer?
CHAMPAIGN — Probably the most uncommon soccer recreation within the 96 years of Memorial Stadium occurs Saturday on the College of Illinois campus.
Zach Acton might be there for each second, crossing his fingers.
“I really feel fairly good about it,” mentioned Acton, the UI assistant athletic director/occasion administration. “We’ve tried to test all of the packing containers of any situation that does pop up. I feel will probably be a reasonably mellow occasion. It’s like a way more glorified, giant spring recreation in my world of occasion administration.”
Whereas the group is smaller, it’s something however less complicated. Acton can’t wait till soccer gamedays return to regular.
”Give me a full stadium and full parking heaps and tailgating and that in my world is lots simpler,” Acton mentioned. “That’s muscle reminiscence in my head. That is one thing all new and none of us have gone by means of fairly but. The unknown is the scary half.”
Extra from Bob Asmussen
Brown, Randolph carving out their roles
CHAMPAIGN — Verdis Brown discovered every week earlier than Illinois’ season opener at Wisconsin that he would begin at proper guard.
The coaching camp battle with Jordyn Slaughter went his means. That prompted a query from fellow guard Kendrick Inexperienced. How was Brown going to deal with his first profession begin?
“I’ve been doing this my entire life,” Brown mentioned was his response. “I wished to ensure I stayed grounded and never overhyped. Not lead into the sport and have an excessive amount of vitality and begin messing up assignments and never making the correct blocks.”
Nonetheless, Brown soaked within the second when he stepped on the sector at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., for the primary time. It was a particular feeling for the 6-foot-4, 320-pound redshirt sophomore out of Chicago.