UI Football working hard to improve

By Staff Report

Since the ending of the abysmal 2005 season, the Illini football team and coaching staff have been working hard to improve results for the 2006 campaign. A top 25 recruiting class, upgrades to the offensive line and a revamped defense are all things that have been done to put a better product on the field for Illini fans. Senior running back E.B. Halsey feels the defense has made huge strides from last season.

“I think the defense is like night and day, I really do, I think we’re more athletic in all phases: up front, linebackers and secondary. It’s a tremendous upgrade. It’s exciting to see those guys fly around, make plays and have fun doing it.”

The Illini defense allowed the most points in the Big Ten last season. Even with the upgrades all over the field, Head Coach Ron Zook believes there is still improvement to be made as the season goes on.

“I don’t know if there’s any one main thing, it just depends on our success, and the only thing we have to do is go out and continue to improve and get better as the season goes along, which I think we’re going to do. We’ve done it so far, and I guess it’s time to get ready to play.”

The new look Illini open their season September 2nd against Eastern Illinois at Memorial stadium.