>>Lunt, New Corps of Wideouts Area of Hope for 2014 Illini
Illinois coach Tim Beckman surprised no one by naming Wes Lunt his starting quarterback. But what Lunt will have to work with remains to be seen.
The receiving corps is mostly new faces. They include junior college transfer Geronimo Allison and freshman Malik Turner. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit says they've improved but he won't know how good they are until they play a game.
The offensive line includes four players with experience. Cubit says he feels good about those four but doesn't know yet about right tackle Pat Flavin.
The running backs are experienced. Both starter Josh Ferguson and backup Donvonn Young played extensively last fall. And Lunt considers them a real strength.
Illini coach Tim Beckman believes Lunt will have better tools to work with than Illinois had in 2013.
>>Big Ten Represented In Four of Eight Neutral Site Games
Four of the eight neutral-site games the first week of the college football season involve Big Ten teams.
Rutgers plays its first game as a Big Ten member against Washington State in Seattle on Thursday.
On Saturday, Ohio State plays Navy in Baltimore, Wisconsin faces LSU in Houston and Penn State and UCF meet in Dublin, Ireland.
The games will produce varying amounts of money for the participants. Wisconsin earns the most, at $2 million. Each of the teams hope the exposure helps in recruiting.
Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said playing LSU will allow him to find out right away how his young team stacks up against a high-caliber opponent.