The Illini had a solid offense last season. It scored 29.7 points a game under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Cubit. That was after scoring 16.7 points a game in 2012.
Cubit is back, but he lost senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase. Strong-armed transfer Wes Lunt is the likely replacement. But head coach Tim Beckman hasn’t yet named a starter.
What Illinois needs most is defensive improvement. Illinois gave up 35.4 points a game in 2013.
Most of last year’s defense is back. Beckman said Monday he hopes the experience lets the defense make the kind of leap the offense made last season.