Zook: Illini better than record

Published 3:48 am Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Illinois’ record doesn’t show it, but Illini football coach Ron Zook says his team is better now than it was seven weeks ago when it was preparing to play Penn State.

Illinois hosts No. 10 Ohio State on Saturday. Last year, the Illini knocked off the Buckeyes, who were No. 1 at the time.

In late September, the Illini were 2-1 and still in the Top 25 — but then came the 38-24 defeat by Penn State.

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After Saturday’s loss to Western Michigan, Illinois is now 5-5 (3-3 in the Big Ten) and scrambling to get enough wins for a bowl game appearance.

Zook says this week’s game has one thing in common with the one last year in Columbus: Not many people give the Illini a shot.