WCIA — With Big Ten play on the horizon, Illinois did exactly what it needed to in its out of conference games this season, going undefeated for the first time since 2011.

The defense did not allow a touchdown in nonconference play, which is also a first going back all the way to 1921. On the offensive side of the ball, the progress can certainly be seen over the first third of the season. But offensive coordinator Barry Lunney’s system really showed its passing ability on Thursday against the Mocs, with Tommy DeVito throwing for 329 yards to nine different receivers.

“He’s done a great job just putting us in situations to make football plays as great football players,” said wide receiver Pat Bryant. “Putting us in space, and letting our abilities go to work.”

“He does that with everybody. There’s multiple receivers getting the ball, the running back is getting the ball,” says wide receiver Isaiah Williams. “He just makes sure we’re attacking defenses vertically, horizontally. I feel like it’s helping us a lot.”

The Illini have a long week to prepare for Wisconsin after playing on Thursday night. They play the Badgers in Madison on Oct. 1 at 11 a.m.