Illinois will face the first of four ranked teams on the Illinois schedule when it travels to No. 15 California this weekend. The last time Illinois defeated a ranked team was its 34-22 win at No. 25 Ohio State in 2001. The last ranked team the Illini faced was No. 23 Iowa on Oct. 30, 2004.
Ron Zook is the first Illinois coach to win the first two games of his Illini tenure since Mike White in 1980.
Illinois head coach Ron Zook posted six wins over Top-25 foes, during his time at Florida, including a 20-13 victory at No. 10 Florida State. He also put together a string of three straight wins over ranked opponents with victories over No. 6 LSU, No. 11 Arkansas and No. 4 Georgia in 2003.
Illinois sophomore placekicker Jason Reda is 6-of-7 in field goals made this season, which ranks third in the NCAA. His 12.5 points per game ranks 11th nationally.
The Illini outgained the San Jose State Spartans 492-231 in total offense, the most dominant performance since posting 600 yards to Arkansas State's 313 in 2002.
Two Illinois players have earned preseason award hype in Doak Walker candidate Pierre Thomas and 2004 Ray Guy semifinalist Steve Weatherford. Thomas led the team in rushing last season with 893 yards, which ranked fifth in the conference. He led the Big Ten in all-purpose yards, racking up over 1,600 yards in rushing, receiving and kickoff returns. Weatherford already holds the school record for career and single-season punting average. Last season, the Big Ten coaches voted him first-team All-Big Ten and he ranked fourth nationally.
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