Exactly one week from the season-opener against Southern Illinois, the Fighting Illini got a sneak peek at what the logistics of a game day at Memorial Stadium will be like. The players suited up in game uniform and took the field for a mock scrimmage of about 50 plays. After the scrimmage, the Marching Illini band and Illinettes dance team played some of their game day tunes, much to the enjoyment of the team. All the classics were played, such as "Illinois Loyalty," "Oskee Wow Wow," "War Chant," "Seven Nation Army," "William Tell Overture," and much more. Led by running back Donovonn Young, the team even showed off some dance moves for the band.
When the band finished playing, Coach Beckman took the mic to tell them how important they are to the Gameday atmosphere and to thank them for being "the best damn band in the land." After the Marching Illini performance, the players enjoyed lunch with their parents and families, who were on hand for the walk-through.
With the season-opener against Southern Illinois coming up next Saturday (11 a.m. CT on BTN), several aesthetic finishing touches are being put on at Memorial Stadium. The orange cushioned Illini Seats were installed on Saturday. Since being introduced at Illinois several years ago, the comfy seats have been a big hit with ticket-holders. They can still be purchased for your seats on game day or here.
Another new touch fans will notice this season, in addition to the HUGE new video board and ribbon boards, is the addition of Illinois' Big Ten and national championships years, along with the phrase "Memorial Stadium Home of the Fighting Illini," to the press box facade. As of saturday afternoon, the installation was about half done, as you can see in the photo on the right. The stadium should be looking great for opening kick next Saturday!