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 width=Illinois players and coaches keep repeating the same mantra ahead of Saturday's opener with Youngstown State: Start fast.

New quarterback Wes Lunt says they get that message from the video of a drag strip playing outside the locker room every time they walk in or out.

A lot of how Illinois starts may be up to Lunt, the transfer from Oklahoma State who will start his first game for the Illini.

Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit says Lunt is bound to make mistakes but doesn't make many twice.

A fast start will be important for an Illinois team that went 4-8 last season and is under pressure to improve.

Youngstown State, coming off an 8-4 season, is likely to rely on returning running back Martin Ruiz. He ran for more than 1,000 yards in 2013.

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