Defensive struggles a thing of the past?

Published 08/27 2014 04:48PM

Updated 08/27 2014 06:36PM

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - When Illinois takes the field Saturday against Youngstown State, it will be our first chance to see how much the defense has improved.

"It still comes down to tackling," said head coach Tim Beckman.  "It still comes down to rushing the passer, and catching the football on interceptions.  But I think we've gotten better.  We see that as a defense throughout this preseason."

That defense was one of the worst units in the Big Ten last year, finishing near the bottom of the conference in almost every major category.  Defensive coordinator Tim Banks hopes the struggles are a thing of the past.

"The problem last year was you fix one, something else came about," he said.  "You fix that, something else came about.  So hopefully we've had a chance to look over all those things during the offseason, make adjustments where we needed to make adjustments, make sure we got the right people in the right places, and then obviously we just gotta go out and execute."

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