CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — How many Illini teams in the past ten years would have been able to come back from a 13-0 deficit on the road? Not many, but the 2019 Illini did on Saturday at UConn.
It’s the first sign of adversity for this Illinois football team. Who overcame a Brandon Peters pick-6 on their opening drive, then back-to-back field goals to give UConn that 13-0 lead. If it weren’t for the defense stepping up in their own territory, that lead could have been 21-0.
After the field goals, the offense exploded for 24 unanswered points to put the Illini on top for the rest of the game.
“I think our guys did a very good job in facing your first test of adversity. Listen, every game there’s going to be some adversity our guys are going to encounter and I think that was the first one,” offensive coordinator Rod Smith said. “I thought our guys responded well to it.”
“It’s always good to get the bad games out of your system,” Peters added. “I really think that we didn’t play the best football that we are capable of playing. There was a lot of mental mistakes, a lot of little things that need to be clean up but it’s definitely nice to get that out of the system.”
Illinois hosts Eastern Michigan on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.