Illinois may eliminated from the bowl season, but that won’t stop head coach Bret Bielema from praising his team’s development.

Illinois didn’t have enough to take down No. 17 Iowa on the road, losing 33-23. It wasn’t for a lack of trying though.

The Fighting Illini caused problems for Iowa QB Alex Padilla, who finished the game with 83 yards passing and 1 interception. Luckily running back Tyler Goodson picked up the slack with 132 yards rushing.

Illinois QB Brandon Peters had 248 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions before it was all said and done. One of the interceptions was returned for a 32-yard pick 6 as well.

Despite all of this, Bielema is still hopeful about how far the team has come, stating that no one could beat them twice per 247Sports’ Jeremy Werner.

It’ll be interesting to see how Illinois finish the season with Northwestern coming to town. The Fighting Illini (4-7) and Wildcats (3-8) meet at 3:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.