Lovie expects Illini to be surprise of NCAA


CHICAGO, Ill. (WCIA) — All 14 teams kicked off the Big Ten football season at Media Days last week. All 14 teams also have optimism and hope heading into the year. Illini head coach Lovie Smith sees his team sneaking under the radar in 2019.

Illinois has won nine games in three seasons under Smith, but this year is the most experienced roster he has had. He thinks that, along with a strong group of experienced transfer can take the Illini to the next step.

“This time of the year everybody is going to have a great year and there will be a team that will come from nowhere that will have an outstanding year. We plan on that being us,” Smith said. “But the last part of our overhaul of our program is to have a better product on the football field. Across the board we feel like we’re in the best position to do that.”

Illinois opens training camp on August 2nd.

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