CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois is hoping to fill up Memorial Stadium with an “orange out” in their Saturday game verses 3-2 Iowa. The 4-1 Illini are coming off a huge win on the road over Wisconsin.
Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said they’ve been preparing for a good Hawkeyes defense. Last year Illinois lost to Iowa while Bielema was out with COVID. Hawkeye’s head coach Kirk Ferentz gave credit to Illini running back Chase Brown as well as the Illinois passing game.
“Iowa’s going to come you know they’re a team that won a game by scoring 2 safeties and a field goal, they’re very engaged with winning games through good defense,” Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said. “I think the last year’s message, ‘we have to be great in our moment, but we have to survive theirs.”
“If you look at their football team they’re strong up front on both sides,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “They got a good running back, an outstanding running back, not just a good running back, very productive. Then defensively, they’re pretty much nationally ranked in every category just a really good job there.”
The Illini are talking about a new culture within the program. Wide receiver Isaiah Williams said the team has a winning mentality, that’s really taken shape in the Bielema era.
Illinois wide receiver Isaiah Williams has 291 receiving yards with two touchdowns so far this season and with the offense getting close to equal yards in rushing and passing the past two games. Williams says everyone is doing what is needed up them.
“Just be a part of a winning culture and I think that’s the biggest difference,” Williams said. “Besides all the wins and losses, in this locker-room right now, you got a winning culture and that’s just a testament to Coach B and the staff, what they instilling in us and what the captains and the leaders is showing to the rest of the guys.”
Illinois plays Iowa on Saturday at 6:30 at Memorial Stadium.