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|Beckman: Illini Depth to be Tested by Broncos
|CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- First-year Illinois coach Tim Beckman expects one of the biggest questions about his new team will come up right away in Saturday's opener at home against Western Michigan.
Beckman said it will be important to keep fresh defensive players on the field against the Bronco's pass-first offense. He said Tuesday he doesn't yet know if he has the depth to do that well.
Western Michigan threw the ball 48 times last season against Illinois in a 23-20 loss. But that was nothing compared to the 59 passes Bronco quarterback Alex Carder threw in last season's 66-63 loss to Beckman's Toledo team.
Beckman said his defense will count heavily on Terry Hawthorne at cornerback, Michael Buchanan at defensive end and tackle Akeem Spence.