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Benn hurts shoulder, but may be ready for Iowa
By Lindsey Willhite | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/7/2007 12:46 AM

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CHAMPAIGN -- When Illinois freshman Arrelious Benn dislocated his right shoulder during an intrasquad scrimmage in August, he sat out for more than a week and then wore a protective red jersey for at least a week after that.

Benn apparently dislocated his shoulder again late in the third quarter of Saturday's 31-26 win over No. 5 Wisconsin when he stiff-armed linebacker DeAndre Levy.

This time, though, the Illini are claiming their leading receiver might be ready for this week's Saturday trip to Iowa.

"I'm expecting Arrelious to be available on Monday (for practice) until we hear different," offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said.

Benn wasn't available for comment, but he was smiling after the game while chatting on a cell phone.

Quarterback Juice Williams sat out the final 4:12 Saturday after hyperextending his knee on a run but said he could have returned and that he will be ready for Iowa.

Safety town: Illinois senior safeties Kevin Mitchell and Justin Harrison lived the dream against Wisconsin.

On seemingly every play, either Mitchell or Harrison took advantage of the chance to get a flying start and deliver a crushing blow on a Wisconsin skill player going over the middle.

"I was really shocked," Mitchell said. " 'Cuz I even told them, 'Let your coach know we're coming.' "

Mitchell had 5 solo tackles, 4 pass breakups and 1 interception -- his fourth turnover in Big Ten play.

Harrison finished with 9 tackles, including a second-quarter shot to leaping Badgers receiver Luke Swan that sent him out of the game for good with either a hamstring or groin injury.

"When they run routes like 'post' and 'dig,' when they're coming across the middle, we know those times we're going to get big shots," Harrison said. "A lot of teams don't run those routes because it's dangerous.

"Wisconsin feels like they can run those routes and catch those passes. We feel like we've got to punish them for doing it."

Offensive philosophy: For the third straight week, Illinois did next to nothing in the passing game after halftime and it didn't matter.

After dealing for 107 yards in the first half, Juice Williams went 3 of 4 for 14 yards after the break. That gives the Illini 23 second-half passing yards in Big Ten play.

Why didn't Wisconsin force the Illini to throw more? Apparently the Badgers couldn't.

"At halftime, as we go through our adjustments, we saw a few plays that gave us some big plays early in the first half," offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said. "We basically continued to run those plays out of different sets and formations and they never answered it."

Illinois rushed 44 times for 289 yards, including 7 rushes of at least 22 yards.

"After the game, I was standing on the sidelines and couldn't move for a while because I'm not used to this," Wisconsin cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu said. "We had players out of position making the same mistakes over and over again, and the better team beat us today."