2023 Illinois Fighting Illini Football Preview

2022 Record: 8-5 overall, 5-4 in Big Ten
Head Coach: Bret Bielema, 3rd year: 13-12, 15th year overall: 110-70

2023 Illinois Fighting Illini Football Preview

The Illinois Fighting Illini are coming off a 8-5 season in 2022, their best record since 2007. They finished third in the Big Ten West Division and made a bowl game for the first time since 2019.

The Illini return a number of key players from last year's team, including quarterback Luke Altmyer, running back Josh McCray, and wide receiver Isaiah Williams. Altmyer threw for 2,528 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, while McCray rushed for 1,102 yards and eight touchdowns. Williams led the team with 82 receptions for 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Illini also return a strong defense, led by linebacker Tarique Barnes and defensive end Owen Carney Jr. Barnes led the team with 109 tackles last season, while Carney had 6.5 sacks.

The Illini's schedule in 2023 is a bit of a mixed bag. They have some tough games against teams like Wisconsin, Purdue, and Iowa, but they also have some winnable games against teams like Toledo, Kansas, and Minnesota.

Overall, the Illini have a good chance to build on their success from last season and make another bowl game in 2023. I predict they will win 7-8 games.

Key Players

Team Statistics

  • 2022 Record: 8-5
  • 2022 Scoring Offense: 34.2 points per game
  • 2022 Scoring Defense: 22.8 points per game
  • 2022 Total Offense: 423.4 yards per game
  • 2022 Total Defense: 354.2 yards per game


I predict the Illini will win 7-8 games in 2023. They have a good chance to make another bowl game, but they will need to stay healthy and play well against their tougher opponents.

Sept 2 Toledo
Sept 9 at Kansas
Sept 16 Penn State
Sept 23 Florida Atlantic
Sept 30 at Purdue
Oct 7 Nebraska
Oct 14 at Maryland
Oct 21 Wisconsin
Nov 4 at Minnesota
Nov 11 Indiana
Nov 18 at Iowa
Nov 25 Northwestern


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