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There's a lot of news each day. Illini Inquirer will try to make it easier to digest each weekday morning with the Daily Digest.
Illini’s Week Zero recruiting advantage
Bret Bielema took advantage of Week Zero in recruiting last season. With an extra off week during the season to focus on recruiting during the fall — Illinois played 12 games in 14 weeks compared to 12 games in 13 weeks for most teams — the staff got out to see more prospects and found some late additions who already are making an impact on the 2022 season.
The Illini plan to take advantage of a more open fall schedule yet again. The Illini have a off weekend the weekend of Sept. 11-17 and another the week of Oct. 16-22. Illinois also has two weekday night games during the next month — tonight against Indiana and Thursday, Sept. 22 — which can offer them some extra flexibility in how they will use their 42 allowed days by the NCAA to be on the road recruiting this fall between September and November.
Bielema has considered going to see games on Saturday following the Illini’s Big Ten opener at Indiana on Friday, but he said that might not be the most impactful use of one of their fall recruiting days.
Penn State scored a go-ahead touchdown with 57 seconds left to pull off a 35-31 comeback road victory at Purdue on Thursday night. After throwing a critical pick-six midway through the fourth quarter, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford (282 yards, 4 TDs) completed 6 of 7 passes for 72 yards and threw his fourth touchdown pass to lead the Nittany Lions back to victory.
Minnesota routed New Mexico State and former Gophers coach Jerry Kill 38-0 on Thursday in Minneapolis. After suffering season-ending injuries last season, Gophers running backs Mo Ibrahim (132 rushing yards, 2 TDs) and Trey Potts (89 rushing yards, 1 TD) looked quite healthy and dangerous.
B1G weekend ahead
The rest of the Big Ten is in action this weekend. Here are the matchups.
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Illinois fifth-year senior Adrien Dumont de Chassart was named one of 25 college players named to the Fred Haskins Award Preseason Watch List. The award is given annually to the nation’s top collegiate golfer.
History: Previous winners of the award include Phil Mickelson (1990-92), Tiger Woods (1996), Patrick Cantlay (2011) and Justin Thomas (2012).
McCourt back with Jags
It’s been a few weeks for James McCourt. But the former Illinois kicker is back on an NFL payroll after the Jacksonville Jaguars signed McCourt to its practice squad.
Why it matters: McCourt didn’t win the kicker job during his week with the Jaguars, but he showed the Jaguars enough for the organization to give him a weekly check ($11,500) and an opportunity to learn under an NFL staff and be on call should injury or poor performance give him a bigger break.
B1G honors for Illini WGOLF
Illini women’s golfers Crystal Wang and Isabel Sy were named Big Ten Preseason honorees. The pair helped lead Illinois to a fifth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships and an NCAA Regionals appearance.
What’s next: The Illini open their 2022-23 season on Sept. 12-13 with the Cougar Classic at Teamans Hall Club in Hanahan (S.C.).
Soccer falls to Texas A&M
No. 18 Texas A&M defeated Illinois soccer 1-0 on Thursday at Demirjian Park. Texas A&M outshot Illinois 11-2, and MaKhiya McDonald's goal 12:58 into the game proved to be the winner.
What's next: After back-to-back losses, Illinois hosts Indiana State at 7 p.m. CT Sunday at Demirjian Park.
Have a great weekend! Between the scenes at Mackey and Ross-Ade recently, Purdue fans are showing out...