The First Football Game of the Year

One of the best parts about going to a Big Ten school like Illinois is the sports atmosphere. So when September comes around, college football is on everyone’s mind. However, this year was special. Former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith was hired back in the spring to coach the Illinois football team.

Ever since then, the Lovie Smith hype has been real. He promised the school that #WeWillWin. To add to the excitement, Illinois gave every student two free tickets to see the first football game vs. Murray State, so no one had any excuse to not go to the game.

I came to the stadium 30 minutes before game time and listened to the best marching band in the country, The Marching Illini, blast their tunes. Our student section, Block I, was full of students with their orange shirts. There were multiple “Lovie” chants happening throughout the section.

The game ended up being so fun to watch, and the Illini went off to a great start with scoring multiple touchdowns in the first quarter alone.

My personal favorite part was the Block I card stunt I got to participate in during halftime. We were each given some colored cards and were told when to flip the cards. On the jumbotron, you can see a cool design made from the cards. This “Lovie” design was cool.


It was also cool seeing Coach Lovie Smith on the field in person. Growing up in Chicago, you saw him on television when talking about the Chicago Bears, but to see him on your campus, coaching your team is surreal.

The Illinois football team ended up defeating Murray State 52-3. I’m super excited to see the team succeed once we start facing our Big Ten rivals throughout the fall.

If you visit campus in the next few months, I recommend heading over to Memorial Stadium for a Saturday afternoon game to see the Illinois team in action, and hopefully, you’ll see a win!


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