Regular season roller coaster: Illini struggle to build momentum

Sports

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois football has struggled to find some consistency this season, with the team showing flashes of success but rarely a full 60-minute performance, let alone two in a row.

On Saturday, the Illini had a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time this season, but they let the game against Rutgers slip away in the second half. The Scarlet Knights came through with a fourth-down stop in the fourth quarter, that secured them a 20-14 win.

“Without a doubt consistency is a great word, it’s gotta be essential for us to grow,” says Bret Bielema. “As a head coach, I think I just got to take complete understanding and responsibility of any of those setbacks that we have. This is just very very frustrating to be in a position we’re in and not be able to capitalize.”

The Illini are coming off one of their biggest upsets in program history, after taking down No. 7 Penn State. There have been other highs of the season including Illinois’ season-opening win against Nebraska, but the loss against a Rutgers team who hadn’t wont a big ten game prior to Saturday, certainly is another low.

“You can’t take the rat poison, like last week everybody was telling us how great we was, and it’s a new week, like we got to prove it again and that’s the biggest thing. Like when we have a little bit of success we got to use it as momentum.”

The Illini will have a chance to reset with a road game next week. They travel to Minneapolis to take on Big Ten West leader Minnesota. Kick-off is set for 11 a.m. CT.

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