WCIA — After being named in the Top 50, Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters has been named a semifinalist for the Broyles Award. The honor is given annually to the best assistant in the country.

Walters has the Illini playing well, ranking second nationally in total defense and interceptions, and third in scoring defense. The Illini stoppers certainly put together a good performance in Ann Arbor, keeping a Top 10 scoring offense out of the endzone after the first drive. But for the past two games, late penalties specifically against Devon Witherspoon have derailed things. But Walters is standing by his corner.

“Just tell him to do the same thing, every time,” Walters said Monday. “If I was him, I wouldn’t have played that any different, back-to-back weeks. He’s playing proper technique, he’s being aggressive, he’s fighting for the football. You live with that.”

Illinois only has 1-10 Northwestern left. They will play the Wildcats in Evanston at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.