Illinois is on the verge of putting together its best season in five years.

The Illini entered Saturday’s game riding back-to-back wins. That put the team at 4-4 on the season with a shot at getting to six wins. After dismantling Rutgers by a final score of 38-10, Lovie Smith and company need just one more to reach bowl eligibility.

Illinois has not reached bowl eligibility since 2014 and the team has not reached seven wins in a season since 2011. 2011 was also the last time the Illini won a bowl game.

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Though Illinois has not reached bowl eligibility in three previous seasons under Smith, they have already eclipsed their best win total under him. However, now at 5-4 on the season with three games left, Smith admitted Saturday that the team is embracing the challenge and possibility of being bowl eligible.

Here’s everything Smith had to say after the game, including his comment that the Illini are just getting started: