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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Practice 4: Thursday Morning
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.
Practice 3A: Wednesday Morning
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.