CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois’ super seniors are preparing to play their final game at Memorial Stadium. At the beginning of the season, there were 22 of them that returned to Illinois to try and turn the program around.
This season, under Bret Bielema’s first year, the team has been competitive in most games, with the exception of Wisconsin and Virginia. The Illini also had chances to win against Purdue, Rutgers, and Iowa, with the game coming down to the final few drives. Overall, they’re have been signs of improvement with the program including road wins against ranked Penn State and Minnesota, but a big part of ending their careers on a high note will have to do with Northwestern this weekend. Illinois hasn’t beat the Wildcats since 2014.
“I don’t regret anything coming back here,” says outside linebacker Owen Carney. “I love this place with my heart, and it’s going to be a bittersweet moment playing my last game at Memorial.”
“It’s a happy and a sad feeling to it, to know that this chapter of my life is going to be over with,” says offensive lineman Vederian Lowe. “But I’m just excited that I can share the field, this home field with my teammates. I’m just excited for Saturday, and I’ll make sure I can take in this entire week.”
Illinois kicks off against Northwestern at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.