By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Lovie Smith could have been on the hot seat at the conclusion of the season. Instead of hearing any whispers that he would be fired, the Illinois Fighting Illini signed their coach to an extension on Sunday.
He has been the Fighting Illini the head coach for the past three seasons. During that time, he has just nine wins with 27 losses.
This season, the team won four games. They also had eight losses.
The 60-year-old Gladewater, Texas has been the head coach since the 2016 season. He went 5-19 in his first two seasons.
This season, the team got out to a 2-0 start. They defeated the Kent State Golden Flashes, 31-24, in the season opener on September 1st. They also defeated the Western Illinois Leathernecks, 34-14, on September 8th.
The team fell to 2-2 with two straight losses. They lost 25-19 to the USF Bulls on September 15th. The next week, they lost 63-24 to the Penn State Nittany Lions.
The Fighting Illini also defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 38-17, on October 6th. They then lost three straight games, losing to the Purdue Boilermakers, Wisconsin Badgers, and the Maryland Terrapins.
On November 3rd, the team picked up their final win of the season. They won 55-31 over the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Memorial Stadium.
Their season concluded with three straight losses. They were outscored 141-51. These losses were by the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Iowa Hawkeyes, and the Northwestern Wildcats.
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