Illini Again Impressive in Scrimmage

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -Junior quarterback Juice Williams shined and the defensive line was impressive once again in Illinois' second major scrimmage of training camp Saturday morning at the newly renovated Memorial Stadium.

Williams completed 16-of-25 passes (64 percent) for 196 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for another TD and throwing no interceptions. He ran for a three-yard TD early on and then connected with Arrelious Benn for a 45-yard TD strike, the longest play of the day, and Will Judson for a 13-yard score later in the scrimmage. Williams, sophomore Eddie McGee and freshman Jacob Charest combined to complete 33 passes overall and spread the wealth to 17 different receivers.

On the ground freshman Mikel LeShoure was impressive, racking up 95 yards on 14 carries (6.8 ypc), including a 36-yard TD scamper. Junior Marques Wilkins was the top pass catcher on the day, hauling in four passes for 30 yards. Benn had three catches for 58 yards and a TD to lead five UI receivers with three receptions.

Like the first scrimmage in Rantoul earlier in the week, the defense, and specifically the defensive line, was dominant, racking up 26 tackles for loss, 13 sacks and an interception. Sophomore safety Nate Bussey put the first points on the board when he picked-off an Eddie McGee pass and returned it 30 yards for a TD early in the scrimmage.

From there, the defensive line took over, led by sophomore Josh Brent's six tackle, 2.5 TFL, 2.0 sack performance. Junior Clay Nurse and senior Will Davis each racked-up two sacks each, while junior Antonio James, sophomore Jerry Brown, redshirt freshman Daryle Ballew and freshmen Corey Liuget, Ugo Uzodinma, Glenn Foster and Whitney Mercilus each added one sack. Brown led the team with 3.0 tackles for loss and sophomore Martez Wilson tied Brent with a team high six tackles, including one TFL.

Fan Appreciation Day Today

The University of Illinois football team will host is annual Fan Appreciation Day at Memorial today, from 1-2:30 p.m. Along with Coach Zook and the more than 100 football players, the Fighting Illini volleyball team will be out to greet the Illini faithful. The event is free of charge and fans attending the event should park in the northeast lot of the Assembly Hall before entering the field through the Horseshoe on Kirby Ave.

The official merchandise partner of Illinois Athletics, GameDay Spirit, will also be on hand to sell Fighting Illini products and Zook Zone towels. One dollar from the sale of each $7 Zook Zone towel will be donated to Coaches vs. Cancer. Zook Zone towels also are available online at

Back to Rantoul

After Fan Appreciation Day today the Fighting Illini will return to Camp Rantoul on Monday for a single practice session beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Courtesy SID

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