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Coach: Illini defense will be better, but no QB

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 8, 2014 at 1:58 pm •  Published: April 8, 2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — 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.

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 between 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. Central at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.