The Illini wrapped up Camp Rantoul 2011 with a very competitive scrimmage on the grounds of the former Chanute Air Force Base. Both units had a number of highlight plays, with running back Jason Ford posting a nice day of work and the defensive backfield repeatedly turning heads with big hits.
Illinois used a format similar to last week's scrimmage, starting with normal drives by the No. 1 offense against the No. 2 defense, then the No. 2 offense vs. the No. 1 defense. The No. 3 units then got some work against each other before working some red-zone situations. The Illini then went into some "coming out" situations where possessions began in the shadow of their own goal line before finishing the scrimmage with a few four-minute situations and a couple two-minute drills.
Saturday Interviews: Coach Zook | QB Nathan Scheelhaase | LB Jonathan Brown
After the scrimmage ended, the team headed back to Champaign-Urbana to finish moving in and getting settled. Classes begin Monday, so the team will begin its normal practice routine for the season, which will be a bit different than in the past. Rather than practice in the afternoon, the Illini will practice in the morning before players head to their classes. The team tried this format in the spring and liked it enough to use it this fall.
Although Camp Rantoul may be finished, the Camp Rantoul video series has one episode remaining. Episode 5 will debut on Monday, wrapping up the training camp series for another year.
Finally, be sure to put the annual Fan Appreciation Day on your schedule for next Saturday, August 27. The Illini will go through their gameday walk-through, like they usually do on the Saturday prior to the first game, beginning at 10 a.m. Fans are invited to watch this, as well as the Marching Illini playing for the team, in the west stands of Memorial Stadium. The squad then will head up to the Great West Hall, where they will sign autographs and take photos with fans from 11-12:30.