CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois Football is ready to kickoff its Orange and Blue Spring Game on Monday night, and 7,500 fans are expected to attend the highly anticipated game set for 7 p.m. on Big Ten Network. This is the first look at head coach Bret Bielema’s team, also marking the first public event at Memorial Stadium since 2019.
“I think there’s a certain element to you as a player, that if you know your parents are going to be there, your family, your friends, you’re being watched on national TV, whatever it is, I think they’re going to bring a little juice, hopefully we’ll play within our minds, play a safe and effective ball game and see where we stand.”
Bielema says the look and feel will be like a “normal” football game, with a few exceptions. The Orange team will consists of the “starters” while the Blue team will be the reserves. Bielema says he plans to release a roster on Monday afternoon. Below are more details on the format of the game.
• The Orange team’s points will count as normal, while the Blue team’s points will count double.
• The first and third quarters will end with a field goal shootout, where the kickers will get four kicks in competition. Each made kick counts for three points for either team.
• There will be no live kickoff returns or punt returns. Some returns will feature “look teams” with no-contact players in white uniforms.
• Full tackling on all players except the quarterbacks. The quarterbacks will be in white jerseys and will not be hit.