CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois football was far from perfect in its season opening win against Toledo but unlike last season in a first game loss at Indiana, the Illini were able to come back to beat the Rockets. Bret Bielema’s team certainly learned from a loss to the Hoosiers, rattling off seven straight victories a year ago, but the now third-year Illini head coach knows it’s a lot easier to learn from a win.

“There were enough things for us on all three phases of the game that let us win the game but a lot of things we can go correct,” Bielema said. “I think the best environment or the day after a game is to have a game you win but do enough things that you need to correct so you have a great frame of min and I thought our guys really bought into that. I think for us, a lot of people always talk about the growth from game one to game two, with players, and I think it can really happen for coaches who haven’t worked together.”

The Illini (1-0) made it through the season opener without any significant injuries, with Bielema saying Monday Isaiah Adams’ MRI was negative on a lower body injury, Tyler Strain is still in concussion protocol and Kenenna Odeluga, Zy Crisler, Josh Gesky and Xavier Scott were all dealing with cramping.

Matthew Bailey is also progressing from a foot injury and could return to full practice and the field soon. The sophomore safety was a projected starter but missed training camp due to a summer setback, after getting hurt earlier this year.

“If not this week, then next,” Bielema said about Bailey, who was projected to return to the field for the Penn State game.

Illinois and Kansas kickoff Friday night at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2 in Lawrence.