WCIA — Illinois football will be well-rested after its first bye week of the season, they will get two in 2022 after playing in Week 0.

Head coach Bret Bielema has strategically placed them throughout the season, as this one comes after three weeks, the second after the next four weeks, which leaves a final stretch of five games to end the regular season. With a 2-1 record in the first section of the season, the Illini are riding high on momentum. But the break was well received.

“One, I gives you a chance to sort get your legs back a little bit, from a player stand point.,” defensive coordinator Ryan Walters said. “Two, it gives you extra prep time.”

“He’s just a mastermind when it comes to that sense,” receiver Isaiah Williams said. “He put stuff together like that to benefit us. I know for sure it benefitted me this week to get my body back under me, and my legs, and get ready for this next four game stretch.”

Illinois is back on the field Thursday, Sept. 22 when they host Chattanooga.