August 2012 Archives

Finishing Touches Being Put on Memorial Stadium

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Wednesday Interviews: Coach Beckman | Coach Banks

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As the countdown to Saturday's season-opener against Western Michigan continues to dwindle, the Illini worked out on the Memorial Stadium turf once again on Wednesday. After practice wrapped up, workers completed the installation of the bowl banners on the barriers separating the stands from the field, including the Rose Bowl banner.

Illini Continue Preparations for Season-Opener

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Monday Interviews: Coach Beckman Press Conference | QB Nathan Scheelhaase | DT Akeem Spence

Tuesday Interviews: Coach Beatty | Coach Gonzales

The Illini continued to prepare for the season-opener against Western Michigan on Tuesday, with another morning practice. Once the team finished working out on Zuppke Field at Memorial Stadium, work crews continued to install more signage recognizing Illinois' all-time bowl appearances and an Illinois. Our State. Our Team sign atop the student section in the north end zone seating area.

Aug 24 photo 2.JPGTraining Camp Central

Interviews: Coach Beckman | Darius Millines | Justin Staples

The Fighting Illini held workout No. 22 on Friday morning on the grass practice fields just east of Memorial Stadium. The Illini were in full pads and continued preparation for the Sept. 1 season-opener against Western Michigan. A crew from the Big Ten Network show "The Journey: Big Ten Football 2012" was on hand to get up close footage for the behind-the-scenes show.

photo 8.22 2.JPGTraining Camp Central

Interviews: Coach Beckman | Coach Gonzales

The Fighting Illini help Training Camp practice #20 on Wednesday afternoon on the grass practice fields just east of Memorial Stadium. The Illini were in shorts and shells on Wednesday after a lengthy scrimmage inside the stadium the day before. The Orange and Blue won't have much time to rest as they take the field at 9 am on Thursday morning for practice #21.

11th Annual Steve Stricker Outing a Success

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Stricker and Small.jpgInterviews: Steve Stricker | Luke Guthrie

The Fighting Illini men's golf program hosted the 11th annual Steve Stricker Illini Classic in Champaign-Urbana on Sunday and Monday with more than 300 golf program supporters attending the gala reception and auction at the iHotel and Conference Center on Sunday and over 100 people participated in morning and afternoon tournaments at Stone Creek Golf Club in Urbana on Monday.  Headliner Steve Stricker also hosted his annual clinic on the range at Stone Creek on Monday afternoon.

Illini Return to Practice Field After Off-Day

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Training Camp Central

Post Practice Interviews: Coach Beckman | QB Nathan Scheelhaase | RB Josh Ferguson

After a day off on Sunday to allow players to move into their campus housing, the Illini returned to action on the grass fields to the east of Memorial Stadium for a practice in shoulder pads and shorts. Illinois continued to install its schemes and began to prepare for its season-opening opponent, Western Michigan.

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The Fighting Illini held practice No. 15 Friday afternoon on a beautiful day in Champaign-Urbana. The team went through drills for 40 minutes before scrimmaging for a little over an hour inside Memorial Stadium. Following the live scrimmage, the Coach Beckman had the field goal unit practice three kicks while the rest of the team stood around them making distractions. Snapper Zak Pedersen, holder Miles Osei and kicker Nick Immekus were unfazed, as all three kicks sailed through the uprights, ending the practice on a high note.

Practice 8.15-3.JPGTraining Camp Central

After a week of practices open to the public at Camp Rantoul, the Illini have returned to campus this week for the remainder of training camp, where all practices are closed. On Monday, the Illini had their second two-a-day of Training Camp with morning and afternoon sessions inside Memorial Stadium. On Tuesday, the team held its first full-contact scrimmage inside the stadium. Then on Wednesday, the Illini practiced on the grass fields just east of the stadium for the first time this season.

2012_Team_Crop_2846.jpgHighlights | Photo Gallery | Training Camp Central

The Illini had a busy Sunday, wrapping up Camp Rantoul with a morning practice before returning to Champaign for Media Day and Fan Appreciation Day. The team had a two-hour workout in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts during their final practice at Camp Rantoul, then returned to Memorial Stadium where they went through 90 minutes of photos and interviews before signing autographs for an hour in the Great West Hall.

Illini Go Through Lone Two-A-Day in Rantoul

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photo 4.JPGPractices 6 & 7: Saturday

The Illini went through the only two-a-day practice of Camp Rantoul on Saturday and enjoyed an unseasonably cool day. 

Canada-Bronze.jpgFormer Illini soccer star Emily Zurrer will return from London with a bronze medal after the Canadian women's soccer team defeated France 1-0 on Aug. 9 in the bronze medal match. Another former Illini will also return home with a medal, as Deron Williams and USA men's basketball will go for their second straight gold medal on Sunday, Aug. 12 (9 am CDT, live on NBC) in the Olympic final against Spain. 

Illini Olympic Central | Illini Photos | London 2012 | NBC Olympics

Aug10-8.JPGPractice 5: Friday Morning

Training Camp Central

Interviews: Coach Beckman | Coach Beatty | Coach Salem

The Fighting Illini were in full pads and did some hitting for the first time at Training Camp on Friday morning in Rantoul. Illinois held a two-and-a-half hour practice in cool, windy conditions at the former Chanute Air Force Base. During the Red Zone portion near the end of practice, the Illini were full contact, doing their first hitting at Camp Rantoul. Follow practice, head coach Tim Beckman joined Jonathan Brown in the cold tubs to help ease the pain of a busy five days in Rantoul.

Camp Rantoul: Day 4

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Practice 4: Thursday Morning

Training Camp Central

Interviews: Coach Beckman | QB Nathan Scheelhaase

After three days of split practices as the Orange and Blue squads, the Illini returned to working as a single unit on Thursday. That gave the team a better opportunity to work on some special teams units as well as special teams fundamentals, such as how to shed blockers as a kickoff coverage player or what technique to use as a lineman on a field goal.

Camp Rantoul: Day 3

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Practice 3A: Wednesday Morning

Training Camp Central

AM Interviews: QB Nathan Scheelhaase | QB Miles Osei

The team awoke Wednesday morning to news of a water main break that led to a boil order in the part of Rantoul around the former Chanute Air Force Base - the exact location where the Illini hold Camp Rantoul. But the team's support staff quickly mobilized, with director of football operations Tim Knox working with the athletic training staff to make sure practice could go on as normal. Assistant athletic trainer Chris Brown drove back to Champaign, filled up as many five-gallon coolers as the team would need for the morning practice and returned to Rantoul in time for the Blue team's session.

Camp Rantoul: Day 2

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Training Camp Central

Practice 2A: Tuesday Morning

AM Interviews: FB Zach Becker | TE Matt LaCosse

The same group the wrapped up day one of Camp Rantoul started day two, as the Orange team worked out Tuesday morning. They went through a similar routine as on Monday, with individual position drills, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work. 

Deron-Lithuania-8.4-2.jpgFormer Fighting Illini continue to compete in London as USA basketball star Deron Williams and Team USA are well on their way to their second straight gold medal after a perfect 5-0 mark in group play. The medal round begins on Wednesday. Hurdler Nikkita Holder (Canada) has advanced out of the first round of the 100m hurdles with the semifinals and final coming on Tuesday. Meanwhile, recent alum Andrew Riley (Jamaica) will begin his Olympic quest on Tuesday with round 1 of the 110m hurdles.

Illini Olympic Central | Illini Olympic Photos | London 2012 | NBC Olympics

Camp Rantoul: Day 1

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Practice 1A: Monday Morning

Training Camp Central

Interviews: Coach Beckman | Nathan Scheelhaase | Michael Buchanan

The Illini opened the 2012 version of Camp Rantoul Monday morning, with the first session of a split-squad practice on the grounds of the former Chanute Air Force Base. The morning session was for the "Blue" team, which consisted of first-stringers and fourth-stringers. The "Orange" squad will be the second- and third-string players and they will practice at 4:45 p.m. Monday. 

Arch-Dwill.jpgThree of the six former Fighting Illini standouts have begun competition in London. Basketball players Deron Williams (USA) and Robert Archibald (Great Britain) will each play their third game of pool play today in London, while former soccer star Emily Zurrer (Canada) had her second Olympic games cut short due to a hamstring injury. The three Illini track and field competitors will begin action soon, starting with USA discus thrower Gia Lewis-Smallwood on Friday, Aug. 3.

Illini Olympic Central | Illini Olympic Photos | London 2012 | NBC Olympics