CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois head coach Lovie Smith spoke to local and statewide media following his team's 41-14 loss to Minnesota Saturday.
Among the topics were the Illini defense being unable to stop the Minnesota run game, the disappointment by the fifth-year head coach in the effort on both sides of the ball and where the program is headed after this 0-3 start.
The 27-point loss for the Illini is the 10th loss for the program by 20 points or more under Smith. Smith’s team, which is supposed to be his most veteran-based team in his five-year tenure at Illinois, committed 12 penalties for 120 yards.
"Defensively, how we played in our front seven, it can't get much worse," Smith said.
Illinois, which had excitement and potential entering the 2020 campaign after ending the program’s five-year postseason drought but losing its last three games, has been down 94-24 after the first three quarters of play in each of its first three losses this season.
"When this has happened three times in a row, you'd have to say we haven't been ready to play," Smith said. "We've talked a good game before but we haven't performed the way we need to, it's kind of as simple as that...when you have a game like that, you don't need to watch the video."
Illinois will take its six-game losing streak on the road as they face a Rutgers team that will play No. 2 Ohio State later this evening to avoid a back-to-back losses after a win at Michigan State on the opening weekend.