Zook shaking up defense, special teams - KMOV.com

Zook shaking up defense, special teams

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois coach Ron Zook is promising changes in the Illini defense after a 38-24 loss to Penn State.

Zook says he'll have more players spell his starting 11, including a couple of freshmen.

He says linebacker Russell Ellington and safety Donsay Hardeman both will see more playing time Saturday at Michigan.

Illinois' defense was expected to be a strength this fall. Instead it's last in the Big Ten in scoring, giving up 32 points a game.

Zook says the Illini, who are 2-2 and unranked after the loss, are also trying to shore up their kick coverage.

Illinois has given up two returns for touchdowns this season, including one at Penn State that gave the Nittany Lions control of the game.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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