For Illinois, going into Madison and defeating No. 14 Wisconsin on Friday in the season opener was a tall task.

But after 27 minutes, the Illini appeared to have a chance trailing the Badgers 14-7. Unfortunately for Illinois, the bottom dropped out as Wisconsin scored 31 unanswered points to cruise to a 45-7 win.

While the loss wasn’t surprising, the deficit was. This is an Illini squad that came in as a talented group. Some considered it the most talented group under coach Lovie Smith.

Smith’s defense struggled to contain Badger quarterback Graham Mertz, who wowed the college football world by completing 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and 5 touchdowns, the Illinois offense did not score a touchdown itself as the Illini’s lone touchdown came via the defense.

Illinois’ offense is led by quarterback Brandon Peters. On Friday, he struggled against the Wisconsin defense as he went 8-for-19 with just 87 yards. He also ran for 75 yards.

Peters also split time Isaiah Williams, a promising freshman quarterback out of St. Louis. Williams didn’t fair much better as he went 0-for-3 with an interception.

Following the loss, Peters addressed his team’s struggle with the media: