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updated: 4/8/2014 4:46 PM

Illini coach says QB competition is wide open

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  • Wheaton Warrenville South grad Reilly O'Toole is in the mix for the starting QB job at Illinois.

      Wheaton Warrenville South grad Reilly O'Toole is in the mix for the starting QB job at Illinois.
    Associated Press file photo

Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois football coach Tim Beckman says his defense is much improved as the Illini get ready for Saturday's spring game.

But one thing Beckman won't say yet is who will be his starting quarterback when the team starts playing for real this fall.

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Expectations are high for Wes Lunt. The strong-armed transfer started part of his freshman year at Oklahoma State. He sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules.

But Beckman insisted Tuesday it's still a wide-open competition among Lunt, Reilly O'Toole and Aaron Bailey to replace Nathan Scheelhaase.

The head coach said a year of experience will help a defense that gave up 35.4 points a game last fall as the team went 4-8.

The spring game kicks off at 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

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