August 24, 2008

Camp Review: Illini ready to roll

While Tiger fans know all about everything that happened in Missouri's fall camp, how about their opponent in the season opener? check in with Jeff Johnson, the publisher of to find out how things went for the Illini over the weeks leading up to the season-opening showdown in St. Louis.

How did the Illini come out of camp health wise?

Jeff Johnson: Senior defensive tackle Sirod Williams suffered a knee injury in camp and will be out for the season. Junior wide receiver Jeff Cumberland had a foot injury that will keep him out of the Mizzou game. He should be back in a month. Bumps and bruises because it was a tough camp but the rest of the Illini should be ready to go against Mizzou come August 30th.

The big losses seem to be Mendenhall and Leman from last year. How does Illinois look to have replaced those guys?

JJ: Illinois will use the running back by committee approach to replacing Mendenhall. Junior back Daniel Dufrene will get the start against Mizzou but redshirt freshman Troy Pollard, true freshman Jason Ford, and Mikel Leshoure will all get their shots to carry the ball. The Illini should again be one of the top running teams in college football this year because of their line and those backs I have mentioned. Senior Brit Miller moves from outside to middle linebacker to replace Leman. Miller started at middle linebacker as a true freshman and had a great spring, camp and shouldn't miss a beat in replacing Leman. He may even be better than the All-Big Ten Leman was last fall.

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