2021 Record: 5-7 (4-5)
Bret Bielema is turning Illinois into Wisconsin south. 2021 was the first year for Bielema back in the college ranks and his philosophy has not changed. The philosophy worked great in the nine overtime upset over a ranked Penn State team.
Illinois leaned on a vastly improved defensive unit last season. The defense was able to hold opponents to 21 points a game. The running game was also better than years prior and was the bright spot on an otherwise lame offense.
Bielema has his schemes in place and is building Illinois in his image. The offensive line and running game are falling into place. The problem Illinois has is they need a quarterback.