LIVE BLOG: Illini Football Spring Game - Debut of Bret Bielema Era

Illinois hosts its first spring game in several years on Monday night and Illini Now/Sports Illustrated will be live from the spring debut of the Bret Bielema era.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Good evening from the campus of the University of Illinois at Memorial Stadium as Illinois hosts its first spring game in several years. 

This is the first opportunity to watch the 2021 Fighting Illini under first-year head coach Bret Bielema on Monday night under the lights at Memorial Stadium

We're about an hour away from game time with weather conditions via in Champaign is calling for temperatures from the 40s to 50s but also wind gusts of 10-20 miles per hour.


Illinois Football Spring Game 

Date/Time/Place: Monday, April 19, 2021: 7 p.m. CST, Memorial Stadium.

Surface: Field Turf

Capacity: Limited fans for tonight's spring game

Records: N/A

Line: N/A

Series notes: N/A


Radio (Illinois): N/A

UPDATE - 11:52 left in 1st - The first-string Illinois offense scored on its first drive that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown run by Brandon Peters. The defense lined up in an odd-man front on every play and Peters, who was 2 of 4 on the drive, had a long pass on the drive to Brian Hightower.

UPDATE: Here is how Illinois' defense lined up at the start of this game. 

Illinois is in a 3-4 defense. 

DEs: Jer’Zhan Newton, Keith Randolph

DT: Calvin Avery

LBs: Owen Carney Jr., Alec McEachern, Calvin Hart Jr., Seth Coleman

CBs: Devon Witherspoon, Tony Adams

S: Tailon Leitzsey, Prather Hudson

First team defense held Isaiah Williams and the 2nd-team offense to a punt. 

TOUCHDOWN UPDATE: Illinois first-team offense is 2 for 2 on touchdowns as Peters completes a 29-yard touchdown strike to Khmari Thompson

UPDATE: TOUCHDOWN - Arkansas/East Carolina transfer Chase Hayden making his play for the starting TB position with a 27-yard touchdown run. 

The starting offensive line is (from L-R): Lowe, Blake Jeresaty, Kramer, Alex Pihlstrom and Julian Pearl

UPDATE: James McCourt kicks a 23-yard field goal to increase Orange's lead to 30-6, 13:33 Q2.

Illinois offensive coordinator Tony Petersen is trying to get Peters to use the tight ends and with Illinois' lack of depth at wide receiver, that's a good thing.

UPDATE: TOUCHDOWN - Chase Brown with a 1-yard touchdown run that proceeded a 54-yard pitch-and-catch. 

UPDATE: TOUCHDOWN - Reggie Love with a 12-yard touchdown run where the St. Louis product broke several tackles on their way to the end zone.