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January 2012 Archives

Weatherford-Super Bowl.jpgTwo former Illini, offensive lineman David Diehl and punter Steve Weatherford, earned a trip to the Super Bowl following the New York Giants' 20-17 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. Diehl, who was part of the 2008 Super Bowl Champion Giants team, will make his second Super Bowl appearance while Weatherford, who held for the game-winning field goal on Sunday, will make his first-ever appearance in the game. The Giants will play the New England Patriots on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m. CT on NBC.

Kantecki-Gray-Smile_0127.jpgGet behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this year's ninth edition, junior Jaclyn Kantecki recaps the first meet of the season and looks ahead to competing alongside the Illini men at Iowa this weekend.

Diehl.jpgA pair of former Illini on the New York Giants advanced to the NFC Conference Championship following a victory over the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers during the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Offensive lineman David Diehl and punter Steve Weatherford will play the San Francisco 49ers with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m. CT on FOX.

Breaking Down the Schedule

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After overcoming a 12-21 start to win a share of the 2011 Big Ten regular-season championship, sweep through the Big Ten Tournament and advance to the championship game of the NCAA Fullerton Regional last season, the Illini head into 2012 with a new blend of talent and a much more difficult schedule. While Coach Hartleb anticipated last year's slate to result in a solid Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rating, many non-conference foes underachieved and Illinois ended with a ranking of 118 in one of the key tools that the NCAA selection committee uses.

4-BP Wide2.jpgBy now you probably know about Brandon Paul's incredible 43-point performance in Illinois' 79-74 win over #5 Ohio State on Tuesday. Paul's performance will go down as one of the best single-game performances in both Illinois and Big Ten history. The numbers below show just how special of a game it was for the junior from Gurnee, Ill.

Thomas-Playoffs.jpgAll six former Illini who suited up for Wild Card Weekend helped their teams advance to the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. Pierre Thomas put on a solid performance with over 100 yards of offense and a rushing touchdown, Neil Rackers nailed a 39-yard field goal and David Diehl helped pave the way for 172 rushing yards.

Eberly-Gray-Smile_0137.jpgGet behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this year's eighth edition, freshman Kelsi Eberly talks about the team's preparations for the start of the season and recaps the holiday party from over the weekend.

Thomas-Playoffs.jpgTake a look at how former Illini fared in the final week of the NFL season. Eight former Illinois football players have helped lead their teams to the playoffs and six will suit up for the postseason, including Pierre Thomas, Neil Rackers, David Diehl, Steve Weatherford, Martez Wilson and Nate Bussey. Rashard Mendenall and Kelvin Hayden will both miss the playoffs due to injuries. Check out the video links for highlights from NFL.com.