CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — After a poor start to the season, the Illinois offensive line has found its stride as of late. In the last four games, the Illini have run for an average of 145 yards per game, while putting up 123 points in that stretch. Ever since a lackluster showing at Purdue where the Illini only scored seven points, the group has come together since, paving the way for the offense’s success as a whole.
“I think right now we’re playing for each other, that Purdue game was definitely a wake-up call for us, so we’re starting to play together and it’s starting to click,” Illinois senior offensive tackle Isaiah Adams said.
Adams’ move from guard to tackle was just one big change for a group that faced a lot of adversity early on this season. From injuries to Zy Crisler and Josh Gesky, to finding the right mix and gel on the field together, the O-line has come a long way in the past month, according to offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr.
“I think it’s probably been a myriad of things, we’ve probably leveled off and hit our stride to some degree of understanding who we are, what we are,” Lunney Jr. said. “Obviously I think since the Maryland game, I think our players have sensed a renewed sense of confidence.”
The Illini line and offense as a whole will be put to the test this weekend at Iowa. The Hawkeyes boast a Top 10 defense nationally in several categories, ranked third in scoring defense allowing just 12.30 points per game. Illinois is looking for its first win in Iowa City since 1999, kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on FS1.