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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 92 same, will win the job, after they split first-team repetitions in the spring game. The offense got a late June boost by the addition of fifth-year graduate transfer Teldrick Morgan. A 6-foot- 1, 190-pound wide receiver, Morgan hauled in 120 catches for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns as a two-year start- er at New Mexico State. The Terrapin defense had its share of problems last season as well, giving up an average of 34 points per game and generating only 18 turnovers. But Durkin has defensive credentials; as the defensive coordinator at Michigan last season, the Wolverines gave up only 17.2 points per game while shut- ting out three consecutive opponents. Andy Buh will coordinate the D for the Terrapins — in a bit of an oddity, he was hired after Durkin's original pick, Scott Shafer, suddenly resigned during the spring — and plans to run a 3-4. The scheme showed positive results in the Red-White game, with 12 sacks and 20 TFLs, and that's even with two keys players — cornerback Will Likely and linebacker Abner Logan — miss- ing the game due to injury. Climbing the standings in the Big Ten East won't be an easy task, not with Ohio State, Michigan and Mich- igan State seemingly entrenched at the top, with Penn State lurking there, as well. But Maryland feels like it's now settled in with Durkin as its head coach and with help coming soon. — Kyle Charters Friendly Venue 2015 Results (5-7) 9/5 KENT STATE . . . . . . . . . W, 52-3 9/12 WESTERN ILLINOIS . . . W, 44-0 9/19 at North Carolina . . . . L, 14-48 9/26 MIDDLE TENNESSEE W, 27-25 10/3 NEBRASKA . . . . . . . . . W, 14-13 10/10 at Iowa . . . . . . . . . . . . L, 20-29 10/24 WISCONSIN . . . . . . . . L, 13-24 10/31 at Penn State . . . . . . . . L, 0-39 11/7 at Purdue . . . . . . . . . . W, 48-14 11/14 OHIO STATE . . . . . . . . . L, 3-28 11/21 at Minnesota . . . . . . . L, 23-32 11/28 NORTHWESTERN. . . . L, 14-24 Illinois Fighting Illini OCT. 8 MEMORIAL STADIUM TIME: TBA • TV: TBA COACH: LOVIE SMITH RECORD AT ILLINOIS: FIRST YEAR RECORD VS. PURDUE: FIRST MEETING 2016 Schedule 9/3 MURRAY STATE 9/10 NORTH CAROLINA 9/17 W. MICHIGAN 10/1 at Nebraska 10/8 PURDUE 10/15 at Rutgers 10/22 at Michigan 10/29 MINNESOTA 11/5 MICHIGAN STATE 11/12 at Wisconsin 11/19 IOWA 11/26 at Northwestern G O L D A N D B L AC K 'S E A R LY L I N E : I L L I N O I S - 6 Dating back to 1994, Purdue has enjoyed more success in Illinois' Memorial Stadium than any other Big Ten venue: Lovie Smith is just one of seven coaches who have gone from being a head coach in the Super Bowl (Bears, 2007) to a job in the college ranks. The only other current college head coach on that list is Michigan's Jim Harbaugh (49ers, 2013). 2016 Opponent Preview At Illinois, 6-2 At Indiana, 6-4 At Northwestern, 5-4 I t remains to be seen whether Lovie Smith can turn the Illini into a winner. But even in his first few months on the job, the former Chicago and Tampa Bay coach who was hired in February already has brought change to Champaign. "He brings immediate credibility," said Doug Bucshon, the publisher of Orange-, the site that covers the Fighting Illini. "It's been a long time — if ever — since Illinois had a coach with such star power and coaching pedigree. Lovie is a larger-than-life figure who immediately demands attention and gives the program a respected leader to build around." But the Illini face more than the need for a quick fix. The program has been in chaos the last year-plus, with former coach Tim Beckman being fired just before the start of the '15 season after findings of player abuse, such as ignoring medical advice. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit took over, less than a week before the opener and guided the Illini to four wins in their first five games. But the wheels came off af- terward. Aside from a 48-14 thrashing of Purdue, Illinois lost six of its final seven by an average of 17.1 points. Still, Cubit was given a two-year exten- sion in November, perhaps because he had guided Illinois through a turbulent time without further embarrassment. Yet, it was only a token extension, one extremely short on security. And it was short in reality, as well. Three months later, new athletic director Josh Whitman made a splash by dumping Cubit and hir- ing Smith. Smith has some good pieces to work with on offense, namely senior quarter- back Wes Lunt and sophomore running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn. Against Purdue,

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