Bret Bielema’s Fighting Illini squad picked up another impressive victory in Week 7, defeating conference rival Minnesota 26-14. That win pushed Illinois to bowl eligibility and a 6-1 overall record to start the season, the best start for the Illini since 2011.

After another impressive conference victory, Bielema commented on his team’s accomplishments, showcasing his knowledge of Illini history.

The stat shows how far the Fighting Illini have come as a program under Bielema. In 2021, Bielema’s first season in Champaign, the Illini lost to Wisconsin and Iowa by double-digits. In 2022 the Illini dominated Wisconsin, winning 34-10 in Week 5. Then, in Week 6, Iowa was defeated 9-6.

The conference schedule for the Illini does not let up with games against Nebraska, Michigan State, and Purdue coming up. Illinois defeated Nebraska in 2021 but lost to Purdue.

The 24th-ranked Illini improve to 6-1 on the season.