Penn State coach says little about Illini's Beckman

John Supinie

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois coach Tim Beckman spoke with Penn State coach Bill O’Brien just days after the Illini’s raid on the Penn State roster in late July, Beckman said Monday.

According to O’Brien, it must not have been a long conversation.

“I think I met him at Big Ten media day,’’ O’Brien said Tuesday. “That’s about it.’’

O’Brien’s cool tone displayed some lingering tension from Penn State, even though the only player the Illini landed was reserve freshman offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki


Illinois (2-2) hosts Penn State (2-2) Saturday (11 a.m., ESPN).

Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase practiced well Tuesday, Beckman said, and Illini center Graham Pocic said he would play against the Nittany Lions after missing two games with a knee injury.

Tackle Hugh Thornton (knee) was still wearing a green jersey that kept him out of full contact after missing the second half against Louisiana Tech.

“Your body is never going to feel the same (after getting injured),’’ offensive line coach Luke Butkus said. “You have to fight through it.’’

Tight end Evan Wilson also practiced. The senior is the Illini’s best blocker at the position.

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