Big Ten Preview: Illinois

Posted by: Matt Lothrop

In each of the next five years the Huskers will open Big Ten play against Illinois. Husker fans have to like that this fall as the Fighting Illini currently ride a 14–game losing streak against the Big Ten.

Head coach Tim Beckman will look to turn that around in 2013. Prior to last season, 5 was Beckman's lowest win total as a head coach.

Beckman isn't dwelling on his first season in Champaign, but looking forward. Starting December 1 of last season, the Illini have taken steps to improve, but don't expect that to come all at once. This was an Illinois team that was outscored by an averaged of 25 points in their 10 losses.

The Illini look to improve off a 2–10 record from a year ago in which they failed to win a league game.

They return just four starters on defense but when you're the 10th best defense in the league, that's not always a bad thing. They do return nine starters headlined by four-year starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase.

In October the Illini will come to Lincoln for the first time since 1985. Another game worth setting your DVR for is Illinois hosting Northwestern for the Land of Lincoln Trophy.