CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The numbers are not good for the Illinois football team. The defense is one of the worst in the country, ranking towards the bottom in most categories. Total Defense? 127th out of 129 FBS teams. Average points allowed per game? 37.6. The numbers go on and on showing how much the unit has struggled this season but the upperclassmen say it’s up to them to keep the team together.
“Life gives you adversity, you’ve just got to rally together and keep going,” Illinois junior running back Reggie Corbin said. “None of our lives are perfect, so we’ve been through adversity before and I don’t think this will be any different.”
It’s been a tough three weeks for the Illini who have been outscored 158-60 in losses to Purdue, Wisconsin and Maryland. Defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson resigned on Sunday, then redshirt freshman defensive lineman Lere Oladipo was arrested, charged with three counts of domestic battery to which he pleaded not guilty in court on Monday.
“Just got to help out Del’Shawn (Phillips) and (Jake) Hansen,” Illinois offensive lineman Nick Allegretti said. “Help the older guys, so they can help the younger guys get through it. Yeah, a lot of stuff to go through but the older guys who have been through this stuff a couple of times will be able to get us through it.”
Illinois hosts Minnesota Saturday afternoon at 2:30, both teams are 1-4 in the Big Ten.