6:26 PM EDT, Wed October 27, 2021
6 hours ago
Kofi Cockburn named Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year

Kofi Cockburn named Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports He’s that good. Kofi Cockburn is collecting ALL of the accolades ahead of his junior campaign. Illinois’ center was named Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year on Wednesday. Cockburn was the only player in the country last season to average at least 15 points and nine rebounds while shooting at least 60%. He’s part of an 11-member Preseason All-Big Ten Team, highlighted by conference rivals Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana) and Hunter Dickinson (Michigan).
Oct 26, 2021
Illinois Basketball Player Preview: Andre Curbelo

Illinois Basketball Player Preview: Andre Curbelo

Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via The sophomore is a special, special talent. I have never seen a player like Andre Curbelo. I’ve watched a lot of basketball in my life. I’ve seen thousands and thousands of different players take the court at some level or another. Andre Curbelo can do things on a basketball court that none of those thousands of players can. Curbelo has made me scream "WHAT!?" so many times tonight, in a good way— Quentin Wetzel (@qwetz29) December 9, 2020 If you’ve watched him play, you know what I’m talking about. He teleports...
Oct 26, 2021
Sitkowski out for season after breaking arm in OT

Sitkowski out for season after breaking arm in OT

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports The Illini QB’s first season in Champaign cut short. Artur Sitkowski won’t get the chance to play against his former team this weekend. The Illini host Rutgers, but Illinois will be without its quarterback after Sitkowski suffered a season ending arm injury in overtime Saturday afternoon. Bret Bielema announced the injury at his weekly press conference Monday. “Art [Sitkowski] unfortunately did break his arm,” Bielema said. “He’ll be done for the year.” This comes after Sitkowski transferred to Illinois after spending parts of...
Oct 26, 2021
There’s still a lot to play for this season

There’s still a lot to play for this season

Photo by Scott Taetsch/ Can the Illini continue success after a statement win? Okay, so hear me out. I’ll be the first to say that a bowl game isn't out of question. The way Illinois is playing right now, it’s the tough physical style of play that we want in Bret Bielema Bully Ball. Illinois has four games left in the season and it won’t be a cakewalk, but the Illini have a chance to build real momentum heading into the offseason and 2022. Oct. 30 vs. Rutgers Illinois’ defense has kept its last five opponents to 24 or fewer points, and that likely continue...
Oct 25, 2021
Bielema, coordinators talk historic win

Bielema, coordinators talk historic win

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports The Illini host Rutgers for Dad’s weekend this Saturday. CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — After their worst loss of the season, the Illini rebounded on the road by stunning No. 7 Penn State in nine (!!!) overtimes. Offensive Coordinator Tony Petersen, Defensive Coordinator Ryan Walters and head coach Bret Bielema met the media on Monday to discuss the 20-18 win over Penn State and preview this week’s home contest against Rutgers. Here’s what Petersen had to say about: The Offense “We wanted to be the most physical unit on the team.” “Our guys...
Oct 25, 2021
Illinois Basketball Player Preview: Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk

Illinois Basketball Player Preview: Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk

Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via BBV’s role remains unclear on another deep, talented Illini roster. Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk, the 6-foot-8 Belgian big man, returns to an Illinois team where he will likely continue in the lightly used reserve role that he’s occupied for his previous two years in Champaign. His on-court action last season was scarce, playing in only 8 games for 2.3 minutes per game after a freshman season where he got action in only 9 games for 6.2 minutes per game. He got off to a disjointed start due to injury in Year Two, but hopefully...
Oct 25, 2021
This Week in Illini Athletics: Oct. 25-31, 2021

This Week in Illini Athletics: Oct. 25-31, 2021

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports Illinois Football made history, and that’s just the beginning of the Illini’s wins. Welcome to “This Week in Illini Athletics,” a weekly review of the past week of Illini sports and a preview of the week to come. FOOTBALL (3-5 Overall, 2-3 Big Ten) Last Week: Illinois football made history on Saturday. The Illini defeated #7 Penn State 20-18 (9OT) for their first road win over a top-25 team since 2007. And if you didn’t catch that, the game went to NINE overtimes, the most in NCAA history at any level. After a nearly never-ending...
Oct 25, 2021
PODCAST: Oskee Talk Episode 197 - Illinois Wins in Unhappy Valley

PODCAST: Oskee Talk Episode 197 - Illinois Wins in Unhappy Valley

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports Recapping a convincing victory over Penn State. On this episode of Oskee Talk, we breakdown an incredible Illinois victory over #7 Penn State at Happy Valley. We talk about the long term effects a top-10 road win can do for the program. We finish the episode recapping Illinois men’s basketball’s exhibition game against St.Francis (ILL.).
Oct 24, 2021
That was a game for the ages

That was a game for the ages

Photo by Scott Taetsch/ We’ll talk about all 9 OTs forever. I need to start this post by owning up to my pregame prediction: Matt Rejc: Penn State 52, Illinois 6 This is just about the worst possible situation for the Illini to be in after the shutout loss to Wisconsin. The team has had a bye week to think about their poor performance against the Badgers, and they are now thrown into a hopeless game on the road against Penn State. The Nittany Lions are reeling from their close loss at Iowa two weeks ago, and will be hungry to make a statement win this week against...
Oct 23, 2021
Twitter reacts to Illinois’ upset over No. 7 Penn State, longest FBS game ever

Twitter reacts to Illinois’ upset over No. 7 Penn State, longest FBS game ever

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports Twitter was abuzz thanks to the Illini & Nittany Lions. The Illinois Fighting Illini upset No. 7 Penn State on Saturday afternoon. That sentence alone is an attention-grabber. But HOW Illinois pulled it off is even crazier. This contest didn’t have the theatrics of the 2019 Wisconsin or Michigan State games, but it was certainly heart-pounding and noteworthy in its own way. It was a historic day in State College, as the Illini & Nittany Lions went toe-to-toe for a record-breaking NINE overtimes, with the Orange & Blue prevailing, 20-18....
Oct 23, 2021
Illinois upsets No. 7 Penn State in historic 9-OT game

Illinois upsets No. 7 Penn State in historic 9-OT game

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports Craziest game ever. No college football game in FBS history had ever gone eight overtimes. This one went nine, and Illinois emerged victorious. In front of a national audience Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa., the Illini went back-and-forth with Penn State. The Illini came out on top 20-18, marking Illinois’ first road win over an AP Top-10 as an unranked team since Oct. 23, 1999, against Tom Brady and Michigan. After eight overtimes that left the game tied at 18, the ninth overtime finally favored the Illini. After stopping Penn...
Oct 23, 2021
How to Watch Illinois at Penn State: Game Time, TV Channel, Online Streaming & Odds

How to Watch Illinois at Penn State: Game Time, TV Channel, Online Streaming & Odds

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports Another gameday. How to Watch Illinois (2-5) at Penn State (5-1) Game Time: 11 a.m. TV Channel: ABC Online Streaming: ESPN App, ESPN+, ESPN3 (any online ESPN platform should do) Radio: All Illinois football games air live on radio in the Champaign (WDWS 1400) and Chicago markets (WLS 890). The game is also broadcasted on other stations throughout the state; check the Fighting Illini Radio Network for more information. Odds: Illinois (+24), O/U 45.5 Quick Hits: Illinois Fighting Illini Head Coach: Bret Bielema (2-5, 1st season) 2020...
Oct 22, 2021
TCR Staff Predictions: Illinois at Penn State

TCR Staff Predictions: Illinois at Penn State

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports Maybe it won’t be that bad? Quentin Wetzel: Penn State 35, Illinois 6 I’m a big analytics guy, and there’s this crazy concept in analytics that you have to score points to win a football game. Weird, I know. Anyway, Illinois… doesn’t score many points. The shutout to Wisconsin two weeks ago stands out, but the Illini have scored more than 17 points just once in their previous 5 games. Even in that game, they scored only 24 against one of the worst defenses in the country in Charlotte. Needless to say, I don’t envision the Illini...
Oct 21, 2021
Illinois Basketball Player Preview: Brandon Lieb

Illinois Basketball Player Preview: Brandon Lieb

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports You can’t teach size. 2021-22 marks Brandon Lieb’s second year with the Illini. After a successful regular season and disappointing post-season exit by the Illini, Lieb enters his sophomore campaign on an Illini team with a lot of ‘unfinished business.’ The Deerfield native stands at 7-foot, 220 pounds, an impressive 20-pound weight gain this offseason. In his senior year at Deerfield, Lieb averaged 13.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. Lieb was a two-star prospect when he committed to the Illini and the No. 11 ranked center...
Oct 20, 2021
Jake Hansen Out for Season, Declares for NFL Draft

Jake Hansen Out for Season, Declares for NFL Draft

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports Jake’s days as an Illini are over. Illini linebacker Jake Hansen sustained a knee injury during the loss to Wisconsin on October 9th. Unfortunately, that injury required surgery, and Hansen’s season — and collegiate career — is now over: So much love for the Orange and Blue pic.twitter.com/rNLTo9Al2M— Jake Hansen (@Juggs35) October 20, 2021 The 6-foot-1, 235-pounder from Tarpon Springs, Fla., tallied 32 tackles this season, including 2.5 TFLs and a sack. Hansen finishes his Illini career with 276 tackles, 28.5 TFLs, 8 sacks,...