The first scrimmage of the fall for the Fighting Illini was cut short after just 15 minutes and two drives due to lightning and heavy rain at Rantoul High School's Bill Walsh Field on Saturday night. The Illini will finish the scrimmage on Sunday at 3 pm at Camp Rantoul.
Thunderstorms rolled through Rantoul in the hours before the scrimmage, but it looked like the skies would clear up enough for the Illini to get their work in. A double rainbow even formed over the field during warmups that would have made this guy cry. Once the action started, senior running back Jason Ford capped a 60-yard TD drive by the first team offense against the second team defense on the opening drive with a bruising 12 yard run. Then the first team defense pushed the second offense backward on their first series. After that, dark clouds rolled in and lightning started filling the skies, sending the team to the bus and the fans scattering to their cars. After close to an hour of waiting out the storm, the decision was made to head back to Camp Rantoul and finish thing up there tomorrow.
The storms certainly didn't make things easy for the Big Ten Network crew that was on hand to shoot footage and interviews for the Illini Big Ten Football Preview Show, which will air on Thursday, Aug. 18 at 7 pm CT. The crew had to think on the fly and ended up doing interviews with Zook, coordinators Paul Petrino and Vic Koenning, and QB Nathan Scheelhaase. After his interview, Scheelhaase took a moment to pose next to his photo on the BTN tour bus.