BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WCIA) — After a no nonsense win in Week 0, Illinois (1-1) was shaken early on with Indiana (1-0) sacking Illini quarterback Tommy DeVito twice on the first offensive drive. Something he didn’t see in Game One.
“It’s just self inflected wounds the entire game, turnovers, you know mental errors in certain areas and not protecting Tommy at certain times and that’s on me,” said running back Chase Brown.
DeVito threw two touchdowns while passing for 235 yards. The offense had four turnovers, including the efforts on the final play and lateral. But it was penalties that caused problems, with Illini being flagged eight times for 81 yards.
“Certain phases of the game, just nonsense things that we have to clean up to have a couple of those penalties, but you know we do some things to overcome it,” said head coach Bret Bielema.
“A thing [Bielema] talked about a lot is just before you win games, you gotta stop losing them,” said receiver Isaiah Williams. “We did a lot of bad things tonight, starting with me, dropping passes that you can’t do that.”
The loss feels familiar for the Illini, after losing games to Maryland and Purdue in the final seconds one season ago. For Bielema, he hopes the team uses this as a learning experience.
“Before you can win you have to stop from losing and I think we did enough things,” Bielema said. “We did about everything we could to mess this up and in the end the only thing we can do is learn from this because if we don’t then history will repeat itself again.”
“We don’t want to go down the same road as last year,” Williams said. “Just understanding that we gotta come to practice this next week and continue to get better.”
Illinois has a long week now to regroup as they host Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 10.