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Illinois Football Team Off Saturday; Zook Sees Promise
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois has an early open date Saturday, just two games into the season.

Coach Ron Zook says, ideally, the bye would have come a couple of weeks later. But he thinks it'll serve the 1-1 Illini well before the September 26th Big Ten opener at Ohio State and a home game against Penn State the following week.

Zook says the extra week will give Illinois a chance to get its ailing players well.

Senior quarterback Juice Williams left last Saturday's 45-17 win over Illinois State with a quadriceps strain.

Starting middle linebacker Martez Wilson sat out that game with a neck injury.

Receiver Arrelious Benn, meanwhile, missed most of the season opener with a nagging ankle injury that's not completely healed.

Zook says all are expected to be ready to play against the Buckeyes.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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