Dark skies and windy conditions early Thursday morning did not yield any rain, but conditions were very comfortable for working out at Camp Rantoul. On the other hand, during the afternoon session, Illini players and staff had to fight through some of the hottest weather conditions of the summer.
Aug. 17, 2000
PRACTICE NOTES: The weather for today's double session was like night and day for the Illini. During the morning practice, a dark, menacing cloud covered the practice area giving the squad a nice 72-degree workout. When the team took the field in the nightcap, they met 93-degree temperatures with 57 percent humidity. Despite the Jeckyl and Hyde conditions, the Illini produced in their return to two-a-days.
In the early full-padded workout, the Illini offense looked sharp in a number of team and group drills. During 11-on-11 work, quarterback Kurt Kittner completed 10-of-11 passes for 83 yards. In another drill, Kittner hit receiver Greg Lewis over the middle for a 65-yard touchdown pass.
"Yesterday afternoon and this morning were very physical practices with good execution," head coach Ron Turner said. "This afternoon was a real mental practice. We did a lot of situational things and we worked with good concentration and focus. We need to continue to work to develop our backups because we are going to need them, but I think we are where we need to be."
IS CHAMPAIGN READY FOR GAMEDAY? With such exciting teams coming into Champaign as Big Ten foes Michigan and Ohio State and with Illinois coming off an 8-4 season and Micronpc.com Bowl win, its no surprise that ESPN Gameday is putting Memorial Stadium on its list of places to visit in 2000. The Sept. 23 Illinois/Michigan contest has caught the eye of ESPN executives, and a site selection crew came to town Thursday to survey the facilities. The team, which included technical producer Steve Vecchione, director Dan Overlese and other technicians were looking for areas which would capture the gameday atmosphere and give the team of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso the best backgroud for the favorite Saturday show. Although Illinois officials will not know the fate of ESPN Gameday until the week before the game, the Bristol, Conn., foursome were very optimistic.
UPCOMING EVENTS: Friday, Aug. 18 8:30 a.m./3:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 7 p.m. (at Rantoul HS) Monday, Aug. 21 8:30 a.m./3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22 8:30 a.m./1:45 p.m.