Local Sports

Illinois Football Kicks Off Season Friday Night

Illinois football fans looking for solace in a lost high school football season will find comfort tomorrow night when the Illinois football team kicks off their makeshift season at Wisconsin.


Illini beat writer Bob Asmussen says a lot is made of the receiving core and returning the quaterback but he believes the strength of the team will start with the offensive line, who returns four of five starters from last year's bowl-eligible team.



Additionally, Asmussen points out the secondary is going to be very experienced this year and should be considered a strength of the team as well.



While the front seven will be held back from the lack of experience, Asmussen says the defensive line has guys ready to step up that have a lot of potential and believes the linebackers will be a strength as well.



Many point to the Illini offense as one of the best in recent memory. Asmussen says quarterback Brandon Peters will have no shortage of options to throw to this season. Included in that group is returning star Josh Imatorbhebhe and the debut of highly anticipated transfer Luke Ford from Georgia. 



Asmussen says the Illinois run game will hinge on the health of Mike Epstein, who has battled a rash of injuries in his time in Champaign. He believes Epstein is ready to go this season and is hearing he is as healthy as he's ever been plus will be benefited by the season starting over a month late.

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