When: 5:00 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27
Site: Memorial Stadium (69,249, artificial turf), Champaign-Urbana, Ill.
Broadcasts: ESPN2, live TV coverage; 43-city Wisconsin Radio Network, live radio coverage.
Wisconsin results to date
Home team in italics
Illinois results to date
Home team in italics
Fighting Illini versus Wisconsin: The Illini lead the all-time series 35-29-7. Last season, Illinois quarterback Jon Beutjer completed 22 of 34 passes for 319 yards, three interceptions and four touchdowns in a 37-20 Illini victory. Wisconsin quarterback Brooks Bollinger and running back Anthony Davis both missed the game with injuries. In their place, Jim Sorgi threw for 162 yards and Dwayne Smith ran for 122 in the loss. The story of the game, though, was the Illini offense, which ran up 504 total yards. Antoineo Harris ran 40 times for 158 yards, receiver Walter Young overpowered the Badgers secondary to the tune of nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown, and receiver Greg Lewis added 86 yards and two touchdowns.
Badger Nation coverage from 2002:
2003 pregame notes:
- Wisconsin is 7-6 in Big Ten openers and 3-1 in road conference openers under coach Barry Alvarez. Alvarez is 5-5-1 against the Illini in his career at Wisconsin.
- Illinois quarterback Jon Beutjer set a Memorial Stadium record and was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week following a 430-yard passing performance against California.
- Beutjer currently leads the Big Ten in total offense (279.8 yards per game), passing (284.2), touchdown passes (8), attempts (166) and completions (108). He is second in completion percentage (65).
- The Big Ten leader in all-purpose yards is Illinois' true-freshman running back E.J. Halsey, who has 339 yards rushing, 159 receiving, 157 on kick returns and seven on punt returns. He is fifth in the conference in rushing yards per game (84.8) and on pace to shatter a 59-year-old school record for single season rushing yards by a freshman. The current record is 842, set by Buddy Young in 1944.
- Illinois' defense is ranked 42nd in the nation, allowing 326.5 yards per game. Wisconsin's four previous opponents are ranked 73rd (UNLV, 373.25), 82nd (West Virginia, 393.75), 88th (Akron, 407.25) and 114th (North Carolina, 491.0), respectively. The Badgers are averaging 430.5 yards per game offensively, 29th in the nation.
- Wisconsin is 3-0 this season when gaining more than 400 yards total offense.
- The Fighting Illini have converted more than 50 percent of their third down attempts in three games this season and have a season third down conversion rate of 52 percent. Wisconsin's opponents have converted 31 percent of their third down attempts this season.
- Wisconsin was 7-of-13 on third down conversions against North Carolina, for a 53.8-percent rate, the team's best single-game rate this season.
- Illinois leads the all-time series 19-13-3 in games played at Champaign.
- Illinois is 30-27-2 in conference openers in Champaign.
- Wisconsin defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove was an Illinois assistant coach from 1980-87.
- Illinois defensive coordinator Mike Cassity was Wisconsin's defensive backs coach from 1995-96.