WCIA — Illinois moved one step closer to getting ready for the 2022 season opener Monday, conducting their first scrimmage of the preseason.

It was one of two scrimmages before the season opener with Wyoming on Aug. 27. It was full contact with officials on hand. Head coach Bret Bielema said Monday was mostly about figuring out personnel, as battle rage on throughout the lineup, but getting the team in a game-line rhythm is also part of the process.

“It’s almost like a preseason game like in the NFL, like having a chance to go out there, get tackled, all those things are huge,” receiver Isaiah Williams said.

“Guys have been waiting on this moment since Day 1,” defensive back Quan Martin said. “Just to get that scrimmage in is very refreshing, you know coaches get to see what a lot of guys can do.”

“A really, really good day for us overall,” Bielema said. “First off got out pretty much healthy. We really got to find out who our roster is, who do we see and project and then that kind of carries over.”