(WCIA) — Illinois football used the first of its three allowed full contact practices of the Spring on Saturday, as the build up towards the April 20 Spring Game continues.

The Illini are almost halfway through the seasonal slate, completing the sixth of 15 practices so far. Most have been forced inside because of weather, but Bret Bielema had his team in the elements. He’s happy with how the Illini have progressed so far.

“We’re six practices in and we’ve won every practice. We haven’t had a practice that’s set us back, or have had anyone walk off the field thinking we didn’t get better,” Bielema says. “I told our guys, ‘We got 15 practices, if we can walk off the field 15 times feeling good about the growth we’ve made, that’s what we can control.’ I think we’ve done that so far.”