Lovie Smith on Illinois defense through 3 games: 'It can't get much worse'
Lovie Smith was looking for a win over Minnesota to try and get the 0-2 Illini on track for the 2020 season, but the Illinois defense was nowhere near up to the task on Saturday, dropping their third-straight game with a 41-14 loss to the Gophers.
The Illini defense had yet to force an interception while allowing seven touchdown passes through their first two games with Wisconsin and Purdue.
Things weren’t any better against the Gophers.
While managing to snag a Tanner Morgan pass for an interception, the defense allowed the Minnesota running game to average 7.5 yards per play and 6.9 yards per rush. The Gophers totaled 556 yards of offense against the Illini.
“Defensively, how we played on our front seven, it can’t get much worse,” Smith said.
Things weren’t looking too bad for the Illini early on, stopping the Gophers on their first two drives and forcing a turnover. But after failing to convert on the turnover, Minnesota quickly jumped up 14 points in the second quarter, and entered the half with a 28-7 lead and never looked back.
Illinois is scheduled to travel to New Jersey to take on Rutgers on Saturday, Nov. 14.
— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) November 8, 2020