CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) -- The Illini defense last year was in the bottom ten in the NCAA.

Since then head coach Lovie Smith has taken over the defensive duties and in week one, Illinois showed big improvements.

The Illini held the Zips to just 192 total yards while holding Akron to just 3 of 13 on third downs.

Illinois forced two turnovers, recorded six sacks and had 12 tackles for a loss.