CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Illinois started the season with a pair of home victories over Ball State and Western Kentucky. The Illini lost their next 10 and finished the year as the only team in the Big Ten without a conference victory.
Yet it wasn't all bad news for coach Lovie Smith in his second season.
Throughout the year, Smith played 22 true freshmen and started 16. Both are school records and were the highest totals of any team in the FBS. His roster coming into the season featured 54 freshmen and just 27 upperclassmen.