Illini Football: 2008 Season - Roster Information - History - Future Schedules
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NCAA Football: Preseason Rankings - Bowl Tie-Ins
Other UI Sports: Volleyball - Soccer

Sunday, April 20, 2008

So it turns out writing about football

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is kinda difficult during the offseason.

well, huzzah for Spring Football.

Pics from the spring game yesterday:

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Driving up I-57 to Champaign

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Coming up Neil St. in Champaign.. you can see the Stadium and Assembly Hall off in the distance

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West Side of Memorial Stadium... the new press box/luxury seating tower is taking shape.

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Memorial Stadium, and Assembly Hall to the right

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The "I-Hotel"(right) and conference center (left), which will feature a Houlihans restaurant, located just South of Assembly Hall, it will be open this fall. (memo to DIA, have a beer garden in the conference center before basketball/football games)

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again with the hotel/conference center.

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Assembly Hall

OK, the game itself

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This is all we saw of Regis Benn yesterday, as he is still recovering from shoulder surgery.

The game is available on, and will be rebroadcast on the Big Ten Network in the coming weeks.

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Recruits sat in the student section for the game

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This guy found a spot to watch the game during his break.

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Isiah Williams about to receive a snap... Juice went 17-of-31 for 210 yards.

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Eddie McGee, lined up with Mikel Leshoure behind him. McGee went 8-of-14 for 127 yards, including a 54 yard TD to Brian Gamble

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The new Press Box rises over the stadium.

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Cranes brought in steel for the center section of the press box as the game progressed.

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Juice lined up with Daniel Dufrene at HB. The running game had issues yesterday. Mikel Leshoure and Jared Faysen each fumbled the ball on exchanges.

Handoffs need to be tightened up, but hopefully the lack of any long runs is more of a tribute to the D-Line (which might be the best in the Big Ten) and not a sign of ba

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Inside the East Great Hall... most of the concession stands have been ripped out, and will be replaced by this fall...

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eventually all the ramps will be ripped out and replaced with a walkway/staircases... I don't know if that will be done in time for the fall, however.

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12,521 was the announced attendance. Decent crowd, especially since the Spring Game has never been a huge draw at Illinois, although if rain wasn't in the forecast I would imagine it would have been much more

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The first ~50 rows of the lower bowl will remain intact on the west side... the upper part of the West Main Stands is now an outdoor club. This fall the "Colonnades Club" will feature over 1,000 seats with an indoor club room located behind it.

13 rows remain in the upper bowl, above it will rest 3 levels of suites, a 200 person indoor club, and spaces for coaches, the press, announcers, broadcasters, and Ron Guenther.

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Illinois tightens up the formation as Juice surveys the defense.

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It will cost $50,000 for you and a dozen or so of your friends to rest your ass on this beam during games this fall...

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Two back set

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a fullback in the game.

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After the game, the view from what used to be Section M of the balcony, now Section 207.... this is where I will call home 6 Saturdays next fall.

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view of the new luxury seating tower/press box from the east balcony.

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Looking out over the north endzone and Champaign... in retrospect I should have gotten a shot of the "new" campus skyline...

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"can't lower the field 5 feet because of sightlines"... my ass.

still, the view from the balcony is great.

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Looking up at the balcony from about row ~65-70 of the lower bowl.

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Out and About Champaign after the game:
While waiting for my Papa Dels Pizza to cook (drool)... took a walk down Green Street...

all I have to say is, I've been gone about 300 days, and I don't recognize it anymore, good lord.
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This is the Burnham towers, which will be a 14 story condo building, with grocery store, built on Springfield Avenue 2 blocks north of Green Street. City planners hope this building will help connect Campustown and Downtown Champaign... the University had to move a radio transmitter because the tower was blocking the WILL signal.

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309 Green Street in the front, this will be the tallest building in Champaign, and to the best of my knowledge the second tallest building in downstate Illinois (outside of Watterston Towers at Illinois State University)... 8 floors will be parking garage, with a pool on top of it, and 16 floors of high end student apartments.

another new building in the background... I'm not sure what the "name" of it is... but its being built in the parking lot that used to be across from Legends.

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309 Green is slowly catching up to The Tower on Third, Presidential Tower, University Inn, Century 21, whatever that building is called now...

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it was announced this week that 309 Green Building will have a second building build on the east (opposite side from this picture) side of it...

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campus town, this is at 5th and Green

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from 4th and Green Street I could see 4 new large commercial/residential buildings that simply didn't exist 12 months ago...

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