Illinois hires O-line coach, MSU moves game

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Two quick items for you before the weekend.

  • Illinois head coach Ron Zook further strengthened the team's new pipeline to Texas by hiring University of Houston offensive line coach Joe Gilbert to take on the same position with the Illini. Gilbert, who oversaw a line that helped Houston rank second nationally in passing and 10th in scoring this season, joins an offensive staff now led by former TCU coordinator Mike Schultz. Both men have extensive experience recruiting in Texas.

In a statement Gilbert said he felt "fortunate to be coming in at the same time as coach Schultz so we can carry on the successful offense that has already been created. I was able to watch film on my visit and I am excited about the young players coming back and the chance I have to help them grow as players and people."

Gilbert replaces Eric Wolford, who left Illinois for South Carolina.

  • Michigan State has moved a Nov. 7 game against Western Michigan to Spartan Stadium from Ford Field in Detroit.

"The economic climate has changed dramatically in the last seven months, and considering the financial risks, it was in the best interest of all parties for this game to be played on campus," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said in a statement.

The relocation gives Michigan State seven home games next fall. Western Michigan's game against Illinois on Nov. 8 at Ford Field drew an announced crowd of 12,865.