Illinois head coach Bret Bielema’s team held their first fall scrimmage Monday and the coach seemed to be pleased, especially with his offense.

“The game feel of it was really, really good,” Bielema said. “Obviously we love to come out of it healthy. We’re not really game planning, per se, we will get into game planning — we’ve already done prep for Wyoming and Indiana and we’ll get a little bit more specific as we move closer — but this week I called it personnel planning. We really gotta find out who our roster is, who do we see and project and that kind of carries it over.”


Bielema, who is known as a defensive coach, says his offense – to maybe even his surprise – is ahead of his defense.

“I think everybody always says the defense is ahead, but I don’t think that was the case today,” Bielema said. “Especially in move-the-ball segments and critical moments. Tip Reiman had a nice catch today in the red area that I think really kind of captivates what I think he can do in the passing game. There were a lot of positives. Some good things in the kicking game.”

Bielema and the Fighting Illini are looking to improve on their 5-7 record from 2021 and make it back to a bowl game. They will get started in Week 0 with a game against Wyoming.