CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — If it looked like the Illini defense had a renewed energy in their win over Minnesota, your eyes weren’t deceiving you.
After giving up 700 yards to Maryland the previous week, Hardy Nickerson stepped away from the team. In came Lovie Smith to call the plays for the Illini. But before he made his game plan, he made sure to ask the players what they were most comfortable with.
“When you talk to players like that you see what they like. People tend to play better, something better with what you like,” Smith said. “You must have been talking to the linebackers and probably their blitz is probably what they talked about. You ask a linebacker, he’ll want to blitz each snap.”
“Every week we always have to listen to the coaches but him asking what we like to do, it just felt good seeing that we can have our own input on how we could play,” sophomore Bobby Roundtree said.
Illinois travels to Nebraska this weekend to take on a 2-7 Huskers team.