CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois looked like a different team facing Virginia compared to last year. Saturday, the Illini defeated the Cavaliers 24-3, which is a huge change compared to last year when they lost 42-14.
Head coach Bret Bielema said he’s excited with the direction his team is going, especially with a few freshmen standouts in the game. True freshman Matthew Bailey was able to get the ball off a fumble and carry it for a touchdown, plus he had an interception. Another standout was Gabe Jacas, who led the Illini with two sacks also getting two tackles.
“He’s got a couple different things, he’s got tremendous power, he has a glide step and he has good instincts and as a pass rusher those things are really, really quality things that if you don’t have them, it’s hard to teach them and he’s got those basic elements,” Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said.
“Guys like Gabe did really well today,” Illinois defensive back Matthew Bailey said. “He played his freaking butt off. The touchdown was crazy. I had goosebumps all over. I had goosebumps everywhere to be honest. Like running and looking at all the fans and the band you know it was just a crazy feeling.”
Illinois has a bye week and will play Chattanooga on Thursday, September 22nd.