I didn't see lackluster effort, especially on defense. They were hitting hard. They just were so often in the wrong place or in the wrong coverage. To me that is a coaching issue, not one of lack of effort. Also, Peters is a good QB. People forget Illinois beat a very good Wisconsin team last year primarily behind the arm of that guy. One of the main reasons Illinois has struggled this year is because Peters was out with COVID for three weeks. With Peters in there the Illinois offense looked completely different than it has these last three weeks.We're still a young team which may explain some of our issues in consistency but the lackluster effort was more disappointing to me. It's OK for the fan base to buy into the 15 point spread crap, but when the players starts believing it we're in trouble. Did the 91 plays on defense last week take the snap out of their legs? If so, the short turnaround this week doesn't bode well for our defense. I said we weren't good enough to bring our B game and expect to beat anyone in the B1G. Well, that also goes for our C, D & F games. Perhaps Iowa will be looking passed us this Friday, but I doubt it.
I am not so surprised our defense struggled. I am more surprised our offense struggled against one of the statistically worst defenses in the B1G coming into this week. Our main problem on offense is that our QBs can't hit the broad side of a barn with any consistency. That is death for this offense. I hope Smothers turns out to be something otherwise we are in for more mediocrity and losing seasons in the coming years.