(WCIA) — Under head coach Lovie Smith they’re 0-4 against Iowa, and Illinois’ 2020 senior class hasn’t seen a win against the Hawkeyes. As Smith’s first recruiting class for the program they’re hoping to lead the team to a win on Saturday.
“There’s some things we haven’t accomplished, this group has not accomplished. Our next two opponents we’ve not beaten in our time together here,” says Smith. “This week it’ll be neat to acknowledge them, but the way we can really send them off the right way is to get them their first win against Iowa.”
It’s potentially the last game at Memorial Stadium for the Illini seniors, but some haven’t ruled out the possibility of returning for another year. The NCAA is granting all athletes an extra season of eligibility, although none of the Illini have shared whether or not they will be retuning for another season.
Right now, their focus is getting a win for their last two games of the season. The No. 24 Hawkeyes have won their last four games, 37.8 points per game during the winning streak. Offensive coordinator Rod Smith preached ball security heading into this matchup, as the Hawkeyes rank third in the Big Ten with 10 interceptions.
The Illini are also trying to erase a sour taste in their mouth, after the Hawkeyes beat them 63-0 in their last trip to Memorial Stadium. Last year, the Illini were beat 19-10 in Iowa.
Kick-off on Saturday is scheduled for 2:30pm CT on FS1.