Bret Bielema was fired up for his Illinois Fighting Illini after a 41-3 road win over Northwestern. After the game, Bielema said that he was confident in the development of his team and how they can compete with any team from the B1G.

Bielema also said he’s “excited as hell” because the Illini are just beginning to tap into what the program is capable of:

Illinois’ win over Northwestern erases a three-game losing streak that includes a home loss to Michigan State, a home loss to Purdue, and a heart-breaking last-second field goal on the road to No. 3 Michigan in Week 12.

Illinois finishes the 2022 regular season with an 8-4 overall record and a B1G record of 5-3 in Bielema’s second year as head coach. The Fighting Illini were considered B1G title contenders and for the College Football Playoff.

The main success of Illinois this season is due to the dominance on the defensive side of the ball as the Illini entered Week 13 ranked third in the nation in points allowed per game (13.1).

Last season, Illinois accounted for an overall record of 5-7 and a B1G record of 4-5.

This season is the first season where Illinois finished with an above .500 overall record since the 2011 season.