Latest Lovie Smith News

Illinois assistant Byrd leaves program; 2 others join

Jan. 17, 2020 6:19 PM EST

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois defensive passing game coordinator and safeties coach Gill Byrd said Friday he is leaving the program because of an unspecified illness in his family. Byrd, who worked with head coach Lovie Smith for three NFL teams, coached at Illinois for two seasons. “Gill Byrd...

California quarterback Chase Garbers (7) hands off to running back DeShawn Collins (26) against Illinois during the second half of the Redbox Bowl NCAA college football game Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Garbers big day leads Cal past Illinois in Redbox Bowl

Dec. 30, 2019 8:58 PM EST

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — As a freshman a year ago, Chase Garbers was benched at halftime for ineffectiveness during his first trip to a bowl game. The California quarterback made his second appearance in the postseason much more memorable for both himself and the Golden Bears. Garbers threw four...

California's Wilcox looks for 1st bowl win against Illinois

Dec. 29, 2019 10:11 AM EST

Redbox Bowl: California (7-5) at Illinois (6-6), Monday at 4 p.m. EST (Fox). Line: California by 6½. Series record: Illinois leads 7-3. WHAT'S AT STAKE The Bears are in the postseason for a second consecutive season under third-year coach Justin Wilcox. The Fighting Illini will be attempting to win a bowl...

California coach Justin Wilcox, left, talks to an official during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against UCLA on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

California takes on Illinois in Redbox Bowl

Dec. 29, 2019 10:03 AM EST

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — As a defensive-minded coach trying to find his way in college football, California’s Justin Wilcox was naturally drawn to watching tapes of Lovie Smith’s teams at Illinois. When the two coaches got together a few weeks ago to promote Monday’s Redbox Bowl,...

Northwestern wide receiver Riley Lees (19) catches a touchdown pass as Illinois defensive back Sydney Brown (30) defends during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Champaign , Ill. Northwestern won 29-10. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Northwestern upsets rival Illinois 29-10

Nov. 30, 2019 5:04 PM EST

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The conditions Saturday at Memorial Stadium were a depressing combination of rain, wind and flop sweat. The home crowd was leaving wet and unhappy after witnessing rival Northwestern upset the bowl-bound Illini 29-10. But one thing remained constant. Illinois coach Lovie Smith was...

Northwestern quarterback Andrew Marty (7) celebrates with teammate Jared Thomas (65) after rushing for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA football game against Minnesota Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Evanston, Ill. Minnesota won 38-22. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Illinois hopes to tame Wildcats, move up in bowl spot

Nov. 29, 2019 4:01 AM EST

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has already clinched eligibility for a bowl and a win over Northwestern on Saturday could help land a more prestigious postseason destination. Trouble is, the Illini aren’t sure if Brandon Peters will start at quarterback. Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, coach...

Iowa place kicker Keith Duncan (3) celebrates with teammate Colten Rastetter after kicking a 45-yard field goal during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

No. 19 Iowa shuts down Illinois 19-10 behind Stanley, Duncan

Nov. 23, 2019 4:55 PM EST

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s defense made sure the team that was leading the nation in turnover margin gave up the ball. The No. 19 Hawkeyes forced three turnovers in Saturday’s 19-10 win over Illinois, another stout performance from a defense that has been shutting teams down all season....

Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters throws during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Michigan State, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Surging Illinois faces stern test on the road vs No. 19 Iowa

Nov. 22, 2019 12:54 PM EST

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Illinois takes its stirring run in the Big Ten this season to another house of horrors on Saturday. No 19 Iowa has dominated the Fighting Illini over the past decade and has not lost to Illinois at home since 1999. Iowa also handed Illinois a 63-0 loss in Champaign a year ago, a...

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost, right, and Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst talk before an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Big Ten Spotlight: West Division coaches in long-term deals

Nov. 21, 2019 1:55 PM EST

Scott Frost received a two-year contract extension that will keep him at Nebraska through 2026. The university announced the extension on Saturday before Frost and the Cornhuskers took the field against Wisconsin. "I'm grateful,” Frost said. “This is where I want to be. People in Nebraska know me...