Bielema continues to tackle family business

It’s familiar again.

Illinois football’s elite defense dominated the Western Conference’s top 10 opponents, and the Battle Illini team improved to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the division.

The more things stay the same, the more they change. Illinois head coach Bret Bielema is tackling the family business, one game at a time.

Expectations have been raised. Execution has improved. Illinois wins before it loses, as the head coach preached after coming to Champaign two years ago.

“It’s the first time we’ve beaten them since 2008, but it’s We beat Iowa and Wisconsin for the first time since 1989. We are clearing a lot of good hurdles and moving on,” Bilemma said.

I will be 40 in December. The last time this happened, I was in kindergarten. latitude.

Despite losing starting QB Tommy DeVito and three other starters, Illinois managed to get the win. Following this bubbling incident with Iowa, there will be an update on the team’s overall health this week.

As the nation’s leading shooting guard, averaging 8.0 points per game, Ryan Walters’ unit will decide the fate of the Big Ten West, and which team will be disbanded at Indy in December. 3 at The Ohio State University. This is the national perspective.

If that team happens to be Illinois, that’s fine with me. With that defense, a healthy Illinois team can be interesting.

NCAA Football: Iowa vs Illinois

Brown shined again, extending his program record of 100+ yards in a row.
Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

As an afterthought for what appears to be a weekly, Chase Brown dribbles 31 times for 147 yards. hum. OC Barry Lunney has to figure out a way to get Brown into the end zone on a regular basis or he will continue to be a national afterthought.

The program couldn’t waste the opportunity to gain that attention across the country to focus on the offense. It’s also unfair to Brown.

Now 4-0 at home, Illinois remains the only team not allowed a touchdown at home.

“Our defense went into today and we were the only team in the country that didn’t give up a home touchdown. When you think about it, this statistic is phenomenal. We are very grateful to our defensive coaches, players and their responses,” Bilema said.

NCAA Football: Iowa vs Illinois

Tarique Barnes (#8) had a great run in the win.
Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois tied for the lead at the halfway point. 2022. in football.

Bielema has been talking about the “replay” games/opportunities his team has this season since the start of the season.

Virginia…won. Wisconsin…won.

Iowa State…won.

The last time the Hawkeyes were in town, they beat Illinois so much that AD Josh Whitman decided to fire then-coach Lowe Smith after the game.

Not this time. Not today, not yesterday, if so.

Bielema’s extremely confident and honest demeanor in press conferences and on the sidelines began to affect his team, especially on the defensive end.

Bielema continued their unbeaten record at home. The athletic department pushed ticket sales heavily and went to great lengths to anger Illini fans across the state and region and replicate the atmosphere outside Memorial Stadium that basketball teams enjoy inside the State Farm Center.

I know in our athletics department, Josh (Whitman) and his staff have done a lot to try and make this game the best environment we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Bielema said.

NCAA Football: Iowa vs Illinois

Bielema shakes hands with Kirk Ferentz of Iowa.
Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The atmosphere and noise on the radio is evident. It came up in locker room conversations.

“Come over to our walkthrough at 11:30, the fans are already trailing there and our kids are commenting on it. Hopefully that shows we can do more,” Bilemah said.

I might say that in every column, but the only blemish is the team from Bloomington, Indiana’s only conference win so far.

If you don’t consider Ohio State, the Big Ten this season is crazy.

Expect to see Illinois succeed in the best offense in the world in the Top 10 tournament in a few months.

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