CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- 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.
Zook, however, says he has no idea why the Illini don't show it on the field.
Before the Penn State game in late September, the Illini were 2-1 and still in the Top 25.
After Saturday's loss to Western Michigan, Illinois is now 5-5 (3-3 in the Big Ten) and scrambling to get enough wins to get to a bowl game.
Illinois hosts No. 10 Ohio State on Saturday. The Illini knocked off the then-No. 1 Buckeyes last year.
Zook says Saturday's game has one thing in common with that game last year in Columbus: Not many people give the Illini a shot.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)