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** 2022 Opponent Previews : Illinois (Game 8) **

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HuskerOnline: Illinois 2022 Spring Preview

"It's a kind of a rebuilding year for them, a transition year. So I think a bowl game is always your goal, getting to the six wins, but I think that's going to be difficult for them.

"With losing all the seniors and a new offensive coordinator, realistically they're probably looking at a five-win season. I haven't really taken a deep dive into the schedule yet to figure out which ones are going to win and lose, but they don't look like a bowl team right now."




CollegeFootballNews: Illinois 2022 Preview

Illinois might have gone 5-7, but four of the losses were close and could’ve easily have gone the other way. Yes, the weird overtime win over Penn State could’ve easily been a loss, but …The team should be able to get that one extra win to finally turn the program into a winner again. This isn’t going to be one of those teams that rises up and pulls off something crazy like a run to the Big Ten Championship, and there will be a few moments when it just doesn’t have the horses to keep up, but it’s going to be tough on the lines and will be a tough out each and every game. And why? The offense will score a little bit more.


There can’t be any misfires. UTSA was fantastic last season, but to go full snob, that’s a Conference USA team that won on a Big Ten’s home floor. That should’ve been an Illinois win, and the same goes with the loss to Rutgers. This year, Illinois has to beat Wyoming and Chattanooga. That’s two, and there aren’t any other obvious wins with the dates against Indiana, Nebraska, and Northwestern on the road. But it’ll be close. The Illini will pull off an upset or three and be at five wins in November. It’ll have its chances to get that sixth victory and a bowl appearance.

Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Illinois Top 10 Players | Illinois Schedule & Analysis



The Athletic: Illinois football has a few big wins, more big holes to build on in Bret Bielema’s Year 2

Bret Bielema’s first season as Illinois football coach ended in a strange place when it came to defining success.

Bielema certainly can understand and appreciate why some Illini supporters offered him congratulations for the team’s accomplishments. After all, Illinois toppled two nationally ranked programs on the road for the first time in 20 years, gritting out an NCAA record nine-overtime 20-18 victory against No. 7 Penn State and then stifling No. 20 Minnesota defensively with six sacks and two interceptions in a 14-6 win. The Illini then closed the season by hammering in-state foe Northwestern 47-14 to snap a six-game losing streak in the series.

Yet Illinois finished 5-7 overall and did not participate in a bowl game. The Illini suffered a pair of humbling losses to Virginia and Wisconsin, a 10-point setback to Iowa and four single-digit defeats — to UTSA, Maryland, Purdue and Rutgers — that Bielema looks back on by pointing out how close his team was to winning.

So yeah, Illinois made strides a year after a forgettable 2-6 campaign led to a coaching change. But that doesn’t mean Bielema is anywhere close to satisfied with where things stand.





Athlon: #67 Illinois Preview And Prediction

Just before the start of spring practice, second-year Illinois head coach Bret Bielema decided to take his young daughters Briella and Brexli to Disney World for the first time. "I know I can handle 120 young men on a field for two hours. I don't know if I can handle a 4- and 2-year-old in a theme park for a day," Bielema said. He was happy with the experience. "It was 12 hours of nonstop fun," Bielema said. "Those are moments you can take with you." The trip was a piece of cake compared to what Bielema is attempting to pull off in Champaign-Urbana. His 5–7 debut was the school's 10th consecutive losing season.





More to come..

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