Santa Clara—We should have seen this coming when Justin Wilcox said he studied Lovie Smith’s defenses.
The California coach learned well as his Bears defense turned away Illinois, 35-20, to win the Redbox Bowl.
Wilcox’s defense held Illinois’ offense in check.
Illinois finishes the year 6-7 and played in a bowl for the first time since 2011.
So much for Lovie’s pre-game promise, “We won’t let you down.”
Unfortunately, they did as they head back to Champaign-Urbana with high expectations for next fall.
I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.