Bret Bielema had high praises for Illinois star defensive back Sydney Brown after the Fighting Illini’s big 26-9 road win over Nebraska in Week 9. Bielema compared Brown to former Iowa safety and two-time first-team All-Pro safety Bob Sanders, who is another former player under Bielema.

Bielema was the former linebacker coach for Iowa from 1996 to 2001. During that time, he coached versatile defensive back, Bob Sanders, before Sanders went on to have a stellar career in the NFL. In his last three years at Iowa, Sanders accounted for 6 interceptions.

Bielema specifically addressed the similar playing attributes of Brown’s power in tight windows, just as Sanders.

Brown had a huge performance in the win over Nebraska by accounting for 6 total tackles, 4 solo tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 2 interceptions. He accounted for 1 interception before the matchup against Nebraska.

Illinois entered Week 9 with the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation (8.9 points allowed per game) and the second-ranked pass defense (143.3 passing yards allowed per game).