Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters is ready for his unit to improv going into their matchup against Maryland.

His defense got lit up by Virginia this past Saturday as they allowed 42 points against them. Stops were hard to come by, especially in the first half when the Cavaliers raced out to a 21-7 lead going into halftime.

Illinois also allowed nearly 600 yards of total offense, with 423 of those yards coming through the air. Walters knows that’s not going to cut it moving forward, especially against a Maryland offense that can score points.

“We’ve got to handle adversity better when things aren’t going right, just settling in and focusing on assignments, pre-snap communication, the details,” defensive coordinator Ryan Walters told Illini Inquirer on Tuesday. “When we’re calm and not really pressing, we play well. When we’re trying to seek and make plays and getting rattled, things sort of start to unravel, right? We’ve got to be able to hit the reset button when we get a bad play. That can’t turn into a snowball effect.

“Right now, that’s what’s happened the last two weeks. Me personally, got to do a better job of getting them in the right spots to calm them down. Then collectively as a unit, just handling bad things. Bad things are going to happen, so when they do happen just not letting them affect the future.”

Maryland has 92 combined points in their first 2 games so making sure everyone knows their assignments will be crucial in this matchup.

Kickoff between these two teams will be on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.