Tuesday Quick Hitters

CHAMPAIGN - Quick hitting news and notes, including updates on Terry Hawthorne, Jon Davis & more.

- Cornerback Terry Hawthorne is not experiencing dizziness or headaches following his scary moment against Wisconsin, according to coach Tim Beckman. The senior is sore though and is still not cleared to play this weekend.

"That's the Big Ten rule. That's the concussion rule," Beckman said. "You've got to make sure if there is any type of head injury, which he was on that football field, he was out, so we're going through the proper protocol."

Hawthorne did not practice Tuesday, running sprints on the sideline instead. Beckman stated the route necessary for Hawthorne to be cleared…

"He's got to pass his test and then he's got to be able to go through a physical workout. Riding a bike, running and not experience anything that's, you know, dizziness or anything like that. Then he's got to go through a practice. "

- Since leading the team in rushing (six carries, 54 yards) against Western Michigan, Jon Davis has been mostly absent from the offense.

He's only touched the ball seven times since the season opener, compiling six catches and one rush.

"He's a little dinged also," Beckman said, indicating Davis has been battling an injury. "We're trying to utilize Jon Davis the best way we can. We'd like to get him the football a little more because he is a very capable young man. You know, he's getting back and we need to get him the ball more."

- Davis' lack of production is clearly missed. But the tight ends as a unit haven't done much in the way of catching passes. The stat sheet shows that – tight ends have 14 catches this year.

Troubles on the o-line could be partially to blame, as the tight ends have been used more to help block.

"Yeah, I mean, we're trying to create edges for protection purposes and for run purposes," Beckman said. "That's what we have to do with our tight ends."

- Injuries have been a common theme all season – wide receiver Darius Millines (sprained ankle) was sorely missed in September. He returned last week, catching five passes for 54 yards.

"I hadn't been out there in two weeks, so I just had to get back into the rhythm," Millines said.

With Millines back out there, the receiver group was able to settle back into the rotation established in fall camp. Millines has the speed to stretch the field, but is also a target that can make possession-style catches. That should complement Ryan Lankford's emergence.

"Having Darius back was huge for us," Beckman said. "Got another guy that we can get the football to."

- Kicker Nick Immekus returned to practice Tuesday, hitting two field goals in the portion of practice open to the media. The kicks, however, sounded flat and didn't have much distance.

"It's not exploding off his foot," Beckman said.

Taylor Zalewski will likely remain the starting kicker this week, but Beckman said that decision would not be made until Thursday.

- Both Graham Pocic and Hugh Thornton are 100 percent healthy, according to Beckman, the first time the senior OL duo has been at full strength together in weeks.

Thornton, who entered the game in the second quarter Saturday, said he played 48 snaps. He expects to start and play the entire game this weekend. His re-assertion at left tackle slides Pocic back to center and Simon Cvijanovic to right tackle.


Illini Inquirer Top Stories