The Illinois football team struggled on the defensive side of the ball in 2018.
This was one of the big reasons why the Illini finished with a record of 4-8. The offense wasn’t the issue for the Orange and Blue that is for sure. Let’s illustrate how bad this Illinois defense was last season.
Illinois finished the 2018 campaign giving up 41.7 points per game. Out of the 130 teams in college football, the Illini ranked No. 126 in this category. That is really bad. Let’s look at our rush defense.
The Illini averaged giving up 261.6 yards per game on the ground. Out of the 130 teams in college football, the Illini ranked No. 124 in the nation in this category. Again, that is really bad. There was a slight uptick in pass defense, though.
Illinois averaged giving up 260.2 yards per game through the air. This wasn’t at the bottom like the other two stats, but the Illini pass defense was in the zip code. They finished No. 105 out of 130 college football teams in passing yards allowed per game.
The defense wasn’t good last season, to say the least. But, Illinois is getting healthy, more experienced and the talent level is rising. Change is on the horizon and this Illinois defense should be better in 2019.
Here is an early look at the Illini defensive depth chart for 2019.