Illini preparing for first trip to Maryland


WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCIA) — From the Land of Lincoln, to the Lincoln Memorial, Illinois is on the east coast for the second time in the last four weeks, this time playing in our nation’s capitol.

The team landed in Baltimore about 5 o’clock local time. They’ll play at Maryland tomorrow afternoon in College Park which is about 30 minutes north of the national mall here in DC. It’ll be the first meeting in program history between these schools. But a couple of Illini are no strangers to this area. Reggie Corbin and Dele Harding are both Maryland natives. Getting the chance to come home means a lot to them.

“I’ve just been talking to my family, trying to get some tickets together for everybody but it’s going to be exciting,” Corbin said. “It’s a blessing to get to go back home and play in front of everybody cause it’s hard for everybody to make a game.”

Corbin is in the midst of a breakout year, he’s leading the team in rushing with more than 600 yards after not getting past the century mark last year. All eyes will be on the quarterbacks though and who will get the start. AJ Bush Jr. was benched in the first half of last week’s game at Wisconsin in favor of true freshman MJ Rivers. Offensive coordinator Rod Smith isn’t tipping his hand as to which guy will get the nod, saying most people put much stock into it.

“I think people overblow it,” Smith said. “If you got guys that are good enough to play, I don’t want to say it’s not that big of a deal but obviously I said all along that I want one guy to be the guy but if you got a couple guys that you think can play, you feel more comfortable if you have to make a change.”

Rivers is the better passer, Bush the better runner. Smith even said we could see both QB’s play. We’ll have to wait and see, 2:30 kickoff tomorrow, we’ll be here and have it all covered for you both on air and online.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.