With senior fullback-tight end Zach Becker lost with season-ending injuries, Illinois moved junior walk-on Chris Willett to second-string fullback.

CHAMPAIGN -- With senior fullback-tight end Zach Becker lost with season-ending injuries, Illinois moved junior walk-on Chris Willett to second-string fullback.

Told his spot on the Missouri roster was in jeopardy after two seasons as a walk-on, Willett landed on the Illini roster prior to last season. A special teams performer who logged a few snaps at fullback last season, Willett played in both games this season on special teams and spent time at fullback against South Dakota State.

Meanwhile, Willett's family also moved from Liberty, Mo., to Dunlap after his father accepted a job in Peoria Heights.

Illini starting fullback Jay Prosch's blocking is a key variable when Illinois (2-0) hosts No. 22 Arizona State (2-0) in a non-conference game Saturday (6 p.m., BTN).

"Chris is the guy behind him right now,'' coach Ron Zook said. "That may limit what you're doing with different formations.''

Zook said freshmen Jon Davis and Matt LaCosse wouldn't be moved to fullback because it doesn't suit their strengths. They're known more as pass catchers.

Becker suffered a broken leg and torn ligaments in his right ankle early in the 56-3 victory over South Dakota State Saturday. He would be welcomed back for a fifth year, Zook said, after a medical redshirt.

COACHING TREE: Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson guided Washington State to a 44-17 win over Illinois in 1988 in his only game in Memorial Stadium, but his impact here runs deep. Illini offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said Tuesday he's part of the extended Erickson coaching family.

"I'm not exactly from the coach Erickson coaching tree, but I come from people who are,'' Petrino said. "To this day, a lot of our quick passing game is still stuff coach Erickson did years ago at Idaho.''

Petrino first tagged along with his father to meet Erickson. Later in his career, Petrino worked with Craig Bray, who works as Arizona State defensive coordinator. Petrino also found influence from Erickson through John L. Smith and current Arizona State defensive backs coach Greg Burns.

INJURY REPORT: Sophomore wide receiver Darius Millines wore a red jersey signifying he was off limits to practice Tuesday after suffering a mild concussion in the win over South Dakota State.

SERIES: Arizona State holds a 2-0 series lead, defeating the Illini 21-7 in Champaign in 1987 and 21-16 the following season in Tempe, Ariz. The Illini have dropped five straight games to Pac-12 Conference teams since a 44-17 win at California in 2001.

NOTABLE: Illinois leads the nation in third-down efficiency, converting 21 of 29. The Illini also lead the Big Ten at 44.5 points per game. ... The Illini rank sixth in the nation in rushing defense (42.5 yards per game) and 13th in scoring defense (9.0 points per game) and total defense (223 yards per game). ... Arizona State director of football operations John Wrenn served as an Illini assistant in 1985, and he coached Homewood-Flossmoor to the Class 6A state championship in 1994 before winning two more prep championships as coach in Arizona. He was also head coach at East Aurora and West Aurora. Wrenn was the Western Illinois MVP in 1972. ... The FBI will be handing out free child identification kits as fans leave the game Saturday. The promotion is sponsored by the American Football Coaches Association.

Follow John Supinie on Twitter at @JohnSupinie.