Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner and the football squad competed in the first full-pad contact scrimmage Saturday.
March 25, 2000
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The University of Illinois football team took to the field for the first day of full-padded contact scrimmaging at the Illinois east practice fields, Friday afternoon under sunny skies and 65-degree temperatures.
The Illini began practice with position specific drills and special team work before heading into the hitting. One drill pitted the offensive line and tight ends against the defensive line and linebackers for one-on-one work.
The Illini topped off the two-hour practice with group run, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work. The running backs tested the young defense with power runs by Antoineo Harris breaking through for 15-plus yards and Rocky Harvey shaking tackles through the secondary.
In 7-on-7 drills, all three quarterbacks got reps with Kurt Kittner hitting tight end Brian Hodges for a 40-plus yard touchdown pass and Walter Young connecting with Harris for 42 yards and a score.
The Illini defense stepped up the intensity during an 11-on-11 scrimmage stopping a driving offense in the red zone on four consecutive series, including an interception at the goaline by linebacker Marcus Hood. Kittner was five-of-seven for 50 yards, including a 16-yarder to Aaron Moorehead. With the offense spread to many running backs, Harris led all rushers with 20 yards on three carries. Brandon Lloyd had three catches for 26 yards. The highlight of the scrimmage was a 50-yard bomb to Eric McGoey from Champaign-native quarterback Dustin Ward.
SPRING GAME: The Illinois Orange and Blue spring game has been set for April 15 at 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for all students. The Illini street fest will be in full affect with a live band, food from Chevy's Fresh Mex and interactive games and activities prior to kickoff.