Lovie Smith vows changes coming heading into Rutgers


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois football is set to get a boost heading into Saturday’s game against Rutgers. Several players who have been sidelined due to contact tracing are scheduled to return to action, including starter center Doug Kramer, back-up quarterback Isaiah Williams and kicker James McCourt, among others. The Illini were without 15 players against Minnesota due to COVID-19, contact tracing and injuries, in a 41-14 blowout loss.

“This week we get some players back, which is a good thing, so we need to play a football game, it’s as simple as that,” Illinois head coach Lovie Smith said. “When you played the way we played this past Saturday, you can’t continue on that path, so you have to make changes. So we need to shake some things up a little bit and play a lot better.”

Illinois has not led in a game at any point this season. Rutgers is a 7-point favorite, the first time the Scarlet Knights haven’t been the underdog in a Big Ten game since 2014. The game time was moved back an hour and will now start at 12 p.m. CST on BTN.

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