MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WCIA) — The Illinois defense scored 14 points, but the offense could only muster 3 in a 40-17 loss to Minnesota.
After a big hit, Brandon Peters left the field in the first half, and did not return. Matt Robinson had to chance to turn the tables for the Illini in what they called a “crossroads game”, but the result was more offensive struggles for the Illini who put up just 248 yards against the Gophers.
“I just think everyone needs to clean up doing their job, and making sure everyone is on the same page,” Robinson said. “We had some missed assignments and we just gotta make sure we’re locked in.
“Normally when your starter goes down, it puts most teams in a hole, and we were today,” Lovie Smith said.
The defense didn’t perform either, several missed tackles, allowed the Gophers to put up 40 points. The only positives were the Illini’s two touchdowns of the game, both scored by defensive players.
“It’s just the inconsistency of being where you’re actually supposed to be, and stuff like that,” Dele Harding said. “Just the little things that just gives the opposing offense the run game that they had, even though it shouldn’t have been like that at all.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever been where we lost a game where we scored a couple of defensive touchdowns, but it’s a lot more than that,” Smith said. “There will be breaks in every game, but you can’t let them go the distance. The big plays are what’s killing us on the defensive side of the football.
So far, there has been no update on Brandon Peters’ injury. Trevon Sidney also hopped off the field with what appeared to be an ankle injury. So the Illini could have to rely on others to get the job done when they return home to face Michigan next week.