Heading into the 2020 season, there was some hope that Lovie Smith’s Illinois squad would take a step forward in 2020. So far, that hasn’t happened.

The Illini have just two wins and haven’t done much to inspire much confidence. The hope is, however, is that the Illini can pull off a monster upset against in-state rival Northwestern on Saturday and salvage something out of the 2020 season.

After coming out strong on Saturday and looking primed to upset Iowa, Illinois struggled in the second half and ultimately fell to the Hawkeyes. Based on Smith’s regularly scheduled Monday press conference, it appears that loss is in the rear-view mirror.

Throughout this season, we have seen a multitude of quarterbacks play for Smith. That still appears to be the case. Though Smith knows his plan for how the quarterback situation will play out on Saturday, he’s keeping his quarterback situation a mystery to the public.

Smith might be coaching for his job on Saturday, which might not seem fair given the talent gap between these two programs currently. But it’s the position Smith put himself in and now has to live with.