CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois defensive passing game coordinator and safeties coach Gill Byrd said Friday he is leaving the program because of an unspecified illness in his family.
Redbox Bowl: California (7-5) at Illinois (6-6), Monday at 4 p.m. EST (Fox).
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — As a defensive-minded coach trying to find his way in college football, California’s Justin Wilcox was naturally drawn to watching tapes of Lovie Smith’s teams at...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The conditions Saturday at Memorial Stadium were a depressing combination of rain, wind and flop sweat. The home crowd was leaving wet and unhappy after witnessing rival...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has already clinched eligibility for a bowl and a win over Northwestern on Saturday could help land a more prestigious postseason destination.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Illinois takes its stirring run in the Big Ten this season to another house of horrors on Saturday.
No 19 Iowa has dominated the Fighting Illini over the past decade...
Several more teams became bowl eligible this week — none with more flair than Illinois.
The Illini beat Michigan State 37-34 after trailing 28-3 in the second quarter and 31-10 at the start...
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Lovie Smith and Illinois are now eligible for a bowl after the biggest comeback in school history.
The Illini did it by forcing turnovers — no surprise there — and...
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — One stat jumps out at Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio when he talks about Illinois.
"Turnovers," Dantonio said. "I think turnovers give you a chance to even up...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Three defensive takeaways, including a pick-6, and timely offense carried red-hot Illinois past Rutgers 38-10 on Saturday.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois coach Lovie Smith is calm, even chill these days.
And why not? It has been nearly a decade since the Illini were a 20-point favorite against a Big Ten foe,...
Lovie Smith inherited outdated football facilities, among the worst in college football, when he was hired at Illinois in 2016 and he knew it.
Jeff Brohm sees Lovie Smith's influence all over Illinois' improving defense.
He's mixed young players in with upperclassmen, created turnovers and just generally confounded...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The plan was for Wisconsin to roll into a showdown with Ohio State next week unbeaten, with a defense putting up historic numbers and a Heisman Trophy contender at running...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — No. 6 Wisconsin will find itself in strange surroundings Saturday — somewhere other than Camp Randall Stadium.
After five straight home games, the Badgers will hit the...
No. 6 Wisconsin (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) at Illinois (2-4, 0-3), Saturday at 12 p.m. EDT (BTN).
Nebraska heads to Illinois not only looking to win its Big Ten opener Saturday night but also shed something of an albatross.
The Cornhuskers (2-1) are 0-7 on the road under second-year...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Lovie Smith understands the challenge his team will face this weekend.
Illinois is coming off wins against Akron and UConn to open the season, but will host Eastern...
The pool of elite Big Ten defensive linemen looks to be getting deeper.
The play up front traditionally is strong across the conference, and a sampling of 2020 NFL mock drafts shows as many...
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Illinois passed its first road test on Saturday.
Brandon Peters set career highs, throwing for 225 yards and four touchdowns as the Illini overcame an early...
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Illinois hasn't won a regular-season road game outside the Big Ten since 2007, but the Illini have a good chance to snap that streak Saturday when they visit...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois running back Mike Epstein has sustained a season-ending injury for the third straight year.
Coach Lovie Smith said Monday the junior hurt his knee in the...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — In his Illinois debut on Saturday, quarterback Brandon Peters showed more than 30,000 Illini fans that he can pass and run and do both pretty well.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The buzzword this year for fourth-year coach Lovie Smith's Illinois team is "relevant."
After ending last season at 4-8, Smith and the Illini can't help but also...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Former Michigan quarterback Brandon Peters has been named the starter for the season opener Aug. 31 at home against Akron.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois freshman defensive back Marquez Beason is out for the season with a knee injury.
Coach Lovie Smith announced Monday that Beason would have surgery after...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A new quarterback, upgrades throughout the offense and a revamped defense — all of it has led to optimism at Illinois, where coach Lovie Smith heads into his fourth...
CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (AP) — Illinois defensive end Bobby Roundtree was speaking, eating and sitting up after severely injuring his spine in a weekend swimming accident near his Florida home, a...
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A.D. Miller, the Oklahoma receiver who had committed to leave for Illinois, has chosen to stay with the Sooners.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley made the announcement...
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Former Oklahoma receiver A.D. Miller will play for Illinois next season.
Illinois coach Lovie Smith made the announcement in a news release Monday . Miller is a graduate transfer who will be immediately eligible for one season.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Dirk Koetter seemed resigned to his fate.
The coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was fired Sunday night a little more than three hours after the Bucs concluded a disappointing season with a 34-32 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Koetter was promoted from offensive coordinator to his first NFL head coaching position when Tampa Bay fired Lovie Smith in January 2016. He led the Bucs to a 9-7 record that year, but followed up with consecutive 5-11 finishes.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Former Miami wide receiver Jeff Thomas is headed to Illinois.
The Illini announced Friday that Thomas has signed financial aid paperwork and plans to enroll for the spring semester. He will have two years of eligibility at Illinois, though it remains unclear when he will begin playing.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois extended the contract of coach Lovie Smith for two years through 2023 after the Illini finished his third season with four victories.
Athletic director Josh Whitman said Sunday the extension demonstrates his belief in Smith, his staff and the plan they have going forward. Whitman hired Smith, the former NFL head coach who led the Bears to the Super Bowl, soon after he was named AD in 2016.
Illinois (4-7, 2-6 Big Ten) at No. 20 Northwestern (7-4, 7-1, No. 19 CFP), 3:30 EST (Big Ten Network).
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The hot seat Illinois coach Lovie Smith has found himself on lately cooled down a bit on Saturday as Illinois beat Minnesota 55-31 in a game that saw some impressive and long scoring runs.
Meanwhile, things are heating up for Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck, who has watched his team drop five of its last six games.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Minnesota is just two wins from securing eligibility for a bowl game and the Gophers get a golden opportunity this weekend to lock up a victory.
The Gophers visit Illinois on Saturday and will face a reeling program that has lost its defensive coordinator, its best passer and its best rusher in the past two weeks. Coach Lovie Smith's team has also lost three straight games and five of six.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson abruptly resigned Monday, citing personal "health-related circumstances beyond my control."
Coach Lovie Smith said Nickerson told him it was in the program's "best interest" to leave. The former NFL linebacker had been defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for more than two seasons after joining Smith and the Illini in 2016.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Only a few weeks ago, mentioning a possible bowl bid in the same sentence as Illinois might have earned more than a few chuckles.
What a difference a few wins can make.
Purdue visits Illinois on Saturday in a game that has implications for the postseason hopes of both teams.
The Illini (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) need only three wins for eligibility, And with games against Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern looming, a win would give Illinois a legitimate shot.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Gies College of Business is now behind football coach Lovie Smith when he answers questions about the team.
The business college's name is emblazoned on the backdrop for Smith's press conferences. It is part of a "branding" effort by the business college, which was named after donors Larry and Beth Gies a year ago.
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Coaches Lovie Smith of Illinois and Chris Ash of Rutgers are in the third year of trying to rebuild programs. Both sense an opportunity.
"Two teams that feel like they have to have this game. That's what we're concentrating on as much as anything," Smith said. "And all of our thoughts are going in to Rutgers. This is as big of a game as we've had in a long time as we see it."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — No. 10 Penn State brings its high-powered offense to Illinois on Friday night, heavily favored against a young Illini team that is off to an encouraging start.
The Nittany Lions (3-0) are a 27-point favorite, not exactly a new situation for an Illini team that is used to being the underdog. But Illinois (2-1) nearly upset South Florida last week and shows little fear going into the Big Ten opener for both teams.
No. 10 Penn State (3-0, Big Ten 0-0) at Illinois (2-1, 0-0), Friday, 9 p.m. ET (FS1).
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois faces its first real challenge of the season Saturday when it hosts South Florida at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Not that the tune-ups were easy. Lovie Smith's Illini stumbled in the first half of both games, despite pulling out home wins over Kent State (31-24) and Western Illinois (34-14).
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois beat Western Illinois 34-14 Saturday, but the victory came with a price.
Illinois quarterback AJ Bush injured his left leg in the first quarter and didn't return. M.J. Rivers finished the game, providing a needed spark for an Illinois offense that's had trouble getting started early in both games this season.
While Bush's injury didn't appear serious, Illinois coach Lovie Smith declined to provide specifics.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois, looking to find its footing after a surprisingly tough comeback win against Kent State to open the season, in theory gets another tune-up game at home Saturday against Western Illinois.
Coach Lovie Smith has heard that one before. As a result, he isn't taking the Leathernecks for granted.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois wide receiver Mike Dudek will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury sustained against Kent State on Saturday, the third major knee injury of the senior's career.
Dudek missed all of the 2015 and '16 seasons and five games year due to injuries. In 2014, Dudek led all FBS freshmen with 79.8 yards receiving per game and set school freshman records with 76 catches for 1,038 yards. He has undergone two ACL surgeries since 2015.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — As expected, Illinois showed up to play what many thought would be a nonthreatening Kent State team on Saturday. Unfortunately, its offense didn't arrive at Memorial Stadium until midway through the third quarter.
Nonetheless, the Illini rallied to hold off Kent State 31-24, avoiding an upset and extending its home-opener win streak to 21 games, the fourth-longest in the nation.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — When Illinois opens its season at home Saturday against Kent State, a streak will be broken no matter the outcome.
Illinois has lost 10 straight games and hopes to take advantage of a moribund Kent State team picked to finish last in its conference. Both young teams went 2-10 last season, Coach Lovie Smith's second with the Illini.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Senior transfer AJ Bush was named starting quarterback for Illinois on Monday, beating out last year's starter and a promising true freshman.
Less than a week before the season opener at home against Kent State, Illini coach Lovie Smith said he chose Bush primarily because of his work on the practice field — and his leadership skills.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A year's worth of experience, intensive strength training and an emerging leader at quarterback could combine to give Illinois a realistic shot at winning some games.
At least that's what coach Lovie Smith is hoping for.
"I've got some good vibes," Smith said after a practice session that again saw senior transfer quarterback AJ Bush continue to impress. "Right now, I think we have the best chance since I've been here of playing some winning football."