Some middle ground for SIU head coach Dale Lennon (left) and UI head coach Ron Zook (right).

Thursday Cram Session: Getting Prepped for Southern Illinois v. Illinois


Less than 48 hours before the Illinois – Southern Illinois game on Saturday night, Writing Illini keeps you updated on the latest news surrounding both programs in its weekly crash course.

Ranked second in the Football Championship Subdivision, Southern Illinois is hardly some slouch team for the Illini (0-1) to get better against after dropping a 10-point lead and losing to Missouri last weekend. The Salukis (1-0) have been solid for quite a few seasons now so the Illini better be ready to come out and play.

With that said, Illinois was better than expected last week and should be fine (right?) if it comes out with the same serious approach that it had in the first half against Missouri.

The Essentials

Here are some key pieces to look at before the SIU-UI game.

ILLINOIS – SOUTHERN ILLINOIS GAME NOTES (COURTESY OF UI DIA)

SIU-UI: 5 QUESTIONS

ILLINI MUST MAKE CRUCIAL GAME 2 ADJUSTMENTS

ILLINI MOVING PIECES AROUND THE GAME BOARD

ILLINI FOOTBALL CONFIDENT ABOUT PROGRAM’S DIRECTOR AFTER LOSS

ILLINI RAISE HOPES AFTER CHALLENGING TIGERS AT DOME

What Illinois Did Last Week

There’s no need to relive the gory details of last week’s 23-13 loss to Missouri, but if you want to, check out our game balls, catcalls and downfalls, or scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for a collection of postgame Illini-Mizzou stories.

What Southern Illinois Did Last Week

The Salukis opened its new Saluki Stadium in grand style last Thursday, pounding NAIA-school Quincy 70-7. Running back Lucien Walker ran for three touchdowns for the Salukis.

SALUKIS OPEN NEW STADIUM WITH A 70-7 CLOBBERING OF QUINCY

Get to know the Salukis beyond our Fighting the Fighting Illini preview with these stories, including an interesting one about Walker.

ZOOK EXPECTING NO BREAK AGAINST HIGH-SCORING SIU

ZOOK: SALUKIS ‘DANGEROUS’

ZOOK: SIU AT LEVEL OF ’07 APPALACHIAN STATE

→  ILLINOIS CERTAIN TO BE WARY OF VISTING SALUKIS

FIRST LOOK: SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

LOOK OUT, SALUKIS ARE DOGGONE GOOD

ILLINI LOOKING TO SLOW DOWN SIU RUSHING ATTACK

LUCIEN WALKER FINALLY GETTING CHANCE TO START AT RUNNING BACK

SIU QUARTERBACK CHRIS DIEKER DRAWING ATTENTION OF PRO SCOUTS

SIU’S DAVID PICKARD BECOMING A PRO PROSPECT

SIU’S JOE ALLARIA MAKES IMPRESSIVE TRANSITION TO WIDE RECEIVER

SIU’S SUBURBAN PLAYERS EAGER TO TAKE ON ILLINOIS

DAWGS HAVING THEIR FOOTBALL DAY

SECOND-RANKED FOOTBALL SET FOR SATURDAY’S GAME AT ILLINOIS

SIU SALUKIS HAVE TALENT, DEPTH AND MOMENTUM

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS SALUKIS READY FOR THE SPOTLIGHT

WORLDS COLLIDE WHEN SALUKIS HIT CHAMPAIGN TO TAKE ON ILLINI

SALUKIS SET FOR THEIR SHOT AT ILLINI

ILLINI NEED WIN, FACE POTENTIAL CHALLENGE FROM SIU

A LOOK AROUND THE MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: SOUTHERN ILLINOIS, PART I

A LOOK AT SATURDAY’S MVC FOOTBALL GAMES

FCS FOES COULD POSE PROBLEMS FOR MIZZOU, ILLINI

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS – SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

1990 ILLINI VS. SIU GAME WAS MAGIC

ILLINI PLAYER NEWS

Of course, defensive lineman Michael Buchanan’s DUI arrest and indefinite suspension was the biggest news this week among the Illini players. Here’s a compilation of stories that you may have missed.

#2 Nathan Scheelhaase (Quarterback)

After looking solid at times against Missouri but turning the ball over to the Tigers four times during last week’s loss, Scheelhaase is obviously an Illini player worth watching Saturday night.

ILLINI ARE SCHEELHAASE DEPENDENT

ILLINI FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: SCHEELHAASE STILL ADAPTING TO COLLEGE STYLE

SCHEELHAASE’S FUTURE IS BRIGHT

#5  Steve Hull (Defensive Back)

Just recently moving from wide receiver to defensive back following a plethora of injuries in the Illini secondary, the redshirt freshman Hull had a very impressive game against Missouri, registering seven tackles.

STEVE HULL Q&A

STEVE HULL A QUICK STUDY AT SAFETY

FORMER RECEIVER HULL STRONG AT SAFETY FOR ILLINI

#8 A.J. Jenkins (Wide Receiver)

Somewhat offsetting his 3 catches for 33 yards and 1 touchdown, Jenkins had a critical dropped pass during the third quarter of the Missouri loss.

ILLINOIS’ JENKINS GETS HIS SHOT

JENKINS GLAD HE STAYED AT ILLINOIS

#26 Justin Green (Defensive Back)

Like Hull, Green recently moved from offense to defense to help the Illini deal with injuries and also had a nice game against Missouri, notching six tackles.

GREEN LENDS HELPING HAND TO WEAKENED ILLINI DEFENSE

#76 Graham Pocic (Center)

While the Illini defense was better than expected during the Mizzou game, the offensive line was shaky as a whole.

GRAHAM POCIC NOW CENTER OF ATTENTION AT ILLINOIS

#99 Michael Buchanan (Defensive Bandit)

Buchanan had three tackles against Missouri, but who knows when he’ll get back on the field after getting arrested for DUI and suspended by Illinois head coach Ron Zook.

ILLINI’S BUCHANAN FACES DUI CASE

ILLINOIS SUSPENDS MICHAEL BUCHANAN

ILLINI DEFENSE SHUFFLES TO REPLACE SUSPENDED BUCHANAN

ILLINI DEFENSE LOSES ANOTHER STARTER AFTER DEFEAT TO MISSOURI

ILLINI COACHING NEWS

Head Coach Ron Zook

I know that it’s easy for local and national media to pile on the beleaguered Zook, especially after the Illini were outclassed by Missouri in the second half after playing a great first 30 minutes, but at least the Illini played hard and with some toughness. That may not seem like much, but it’s an improvement from the last two seasons.

ZOOK GIVES ILLINI PEP TALK

FIRST WORD WITH RON ZOOK

Running Backs Coach DeAndre Smith

SMITH COACHES ILLINI RBS FROM QB’S VIEW

BIG TEN/COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS

In his weekly Big Ten rankings, ESPN’s Josh Rittenberg has the Illini dead last. Come on. The Illini weren’t that bad against Missouri. Now if Illinois loses to SIU, Rittenberg can keep the Illini there all year long.

→  BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS: WEEK 2

BIG TEN CONFERENCES NEWS AND NOTES

ROSSOW’S BIG TEN REPORT

WEEK 2 COLLEGE FOOTBALL CAPSULES

WHAT TO WATCH IN THE BIG TEN: WEEK 2

PICKIN’ ON THE BIG TEN, WEEK 2

COLLEGE FOOTBALL HELMET SNEAKERS: WEEK 1

WHAT WE LEARNED IN THE BIG TEN

BIG TEN WEEK 2: DID YOU KNOW?

BIG TEN HARVEST: IMPRESSIVE DEBUTS FOR SEVERAL QUARTERBACKS

MICHIGAN RESEMBLING  MICHIGAN AGAIN

AIR NOT RARE FOR BIG TEN QBS

‘GROWING’ PAINS FOR BOILERS

FUTURE ILLINI PLAYER NEWS

Illinois high school football season has always been underway for a couple of weeks, with more than a handful of 2011 Illini recruits in action around the state.

HINSDALE CENTRAL’S MCDOWELL COMMITS TO ILLINOIS

SCOTT MCDOWELL DISCUSSES ILLINI COMMITMENT

CLINT TUCKER PICKS ILLINI

REILLY O’TOOLE SHOWS OFF ‘IT’ FACTOR

CHICAGO CITY SCHOOLS RISE UP IN FOOTBALL

FORMER ILLINI PLAYER NEWS

Keep tabs on former Illini linebacker Brit Miller, quarterback Dustin Ward and running back Robert Holcombe.

DECATUR’S MILLER LIVING NFL’S FRINGE LIFESTYLE

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DUSTIN WARD RECALLS “FIRST TIME” AS ILLINI QB

ROBERT HOLCOMBE JOINS AUSTIN COLLEGE COACHING STAFF

ILLINOIS/MISSOURI POSTGAME

As promised above, here’s a compilation of postgame stories detailing last week’s loss to Mizzou.

MISSOURI TIGER NOTEBOOK: MISSOURI VS. ILLINOIS RECAP

ILLINI GOT AWAY FROM WHAT WORKED

GRADE THE ILLINI

HALF-BAKED

GAME STATS

LIVE FROM THE EDWARD JONES DOME

UI NOTES: SCHEELHAASE MAKES STRIDES

JACKSON: FURTHER REVIEW

ILLINOIS 2-MINUTE DRILL

SNAP JUDGMENTS: MORE PROBLEMS FOR RON ZOOK

ILLINI CHAT: MISSOURI 23, ILLINOIS 13

ILLINI COME UP SHORT

MISSOURI RALLIES TO TOP ILLINOIS 23-13

MISSOURI’S DEFENSIVE FRONT FOUR HAS OFFERED SWEET RESULTS

TIGERS COME FROM BEHIND TO BEAT ILLINI

GETTIS’ INTERCEPTION HELPS MISSOURI FOOTBALL SECURE FIRST WIN

GETTIS IS MAN ON A MISSION

MISSOURI DAZZLES ON DEFENSE

FANS FOCUS ON GAME, NOT TIGERS OFF FIELD WOES

GABBERT’S BRILLIANCE OUTSHINES MISSOURI’S PROBLEMS

LOSS HINDERS ILLINI’S ATTEMPT TO MOVE ON

TATE: AT LEAST WE’VE STILL GOT BASKETBALL

ILLINI NOTES: A NEW APPROACH AT HALF

EMPTYING THE MISSOURI NOTEBOOK

MISSOURI BESTS ILLINOIS IN LAST ARCH RIVALRY GAME

GAMEDAY CHAT: POSTGAME EDITION

ILLINI GRADE: C MINUS

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR ILLINOIS?

TIGERS RALLY IN SECOND HALF, HAND ILLINI 23-13 LOSS

ZOOK PLEASED WITH PLAY OF ILLINI’S SECONDARY

RON ZOOK POST-MIZZOU GAME THOUGHTS

FANS REACT TO FOOTBALL OPENER

Alright.

Coming tomorrow, Writing Illini will give its predictions for the Salukis-Illini game and try to track down the predictions of some of the credentialed members of the media.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: A.J. Jenkins Brit Miller Carl Gettis Clint Tucker DeAndre Smith Dustin Ward Eddie McGee Football Graham Pocic Illini Football Illinois Fighting Illini Football Illinois Football Justin Green Lucien Walker Michael Buchanan Missouri Football Missouri Tigers Football Nathan Scheelhaase Reilly O'Toole Robert Holcombe Ron Zook Salukis Football Scott McDowell Southern Illinois Football Steve Hull Tigers Football