For the first time this season, it appears like there is some optimism surrounding the Illinois football program.

After a rough 0-3 start, the Illini pulled out a road victory against Rutgers to pick up that all-important first win of the season.

Though the win itself isn’t head-turning, it’s a step in the right direction for head coach Lovie Smith’s team. Things looked incredibly bad for Smith after the Illini were bulldozed by Wisconsin in Week 1.

Then, Illinois lost to Purdue and Minnesota at home. With not much hope, the Illini managed to go into Piscataway and win 23-20.

Now that Smith and his team have one in the win column, Illinois can look to improve that in Week 5 against Nebraska. Smith spoke to the media about just that on Monday in his regularly scheduled press conference.

Let’s start with the team’s players of the week.

Smith also provided some injury updates.

One of the standouts for Illinois was quarterback Isaiah Williams, who was filling in but was masterful in his start against Rutgers. He went 7-for-18 for 104 yards in the air. But he made the biggest impact with his legs as he ran 31 times for 192 yards and a touchdown.

But we still don’t know who’s going to be the man under center on Saturday against Nebraska.

Here’s what else Smith had to say.