2015 Illinois Fighting Illini football team
The 2015 Illinois Fighting Illini football team represented the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in the 2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by interim head coach Bill Cubit, and played their home games at Memorial Stadium. They were members of the West Division of the Big Ten Conference. They finished the season 5–7, 2–6 in Big Ten play to finish in a tie for fifth place in the West Division.
|2015 Illinois Fighting Illini football|
|Conference||Big Ten Conference|
|2015 record||5–7 (2–6 Big Ten)|
|Head coach||Bill Cubit (Interim)|
|Offensive coordinator||Bill Cubit|
|Co-defensive coordinator||Tim Banks (4th season)|
|Co-defensive coordinator||Mike Phair (1st season)|
|Home stadium||Memorial Stadium
|2015 Big Ten football standings|
|No. 6 Michigan State xy$^||7||–||1||12||–||2|
|No. 4 Ohio State x||7||–||1||12||–||1|
|No. 12 Michigan||6||–||2||10||–||3|
|No. 9 Iowa xy||8||–||0||12||–||2|
|No. 23 Northwestern||6||–||2||10||–||3|
|No. 21 Wisconsin||6||–||2||10||–||3|
|Championship: Michigan State 16, Iowa 13|
The 2014 Illinois Fighting Illini football team finished the regular season 6–6, with a highlight win against Northwestern which brought the team bowl eligible and was invited to play in the 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs of Conference USA. The Bulldogs defeated the Illini in Dallas, Texas 35–18 finishing their 2014 Season at 6–7.
On August 28, 2015—one week before the start of the regular season—head coach Tim Beckman was fired after an internal investigation found that he had made efforts "to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players to avoid or postpone medical treatment and continue playing despite injuries." He was replaced by offensive coordinator Bill Cubit on an interim basis for the season.
A few hours before the final game of the season, Cubit had the "Interim" removed from his title and was named permanent head coach. It was an appointment that would last only one game, as Cubit was removed during the following off-season by new Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman, on the day Whitman officially assumed the role, in favor of former Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith.
Illinois announced their 2015 football schedule on June 3, 2013. The 2015 schedule consist of 7 home and 5 away games in the regular season. The Fighting Illini will host Big Ten foes Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, and Wisconsin and will travel to Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State, and Purdue.
The Fighting Illini hosted three of their four non conference games against Kent State, Middle Tennessee and Western Illinois. Illinois traveled to Chapel Hill, North Carolina and faced the North Carolina of the Atlantic Coast Conference on September 19.
|September 5||2:00 PM||Kent State*||Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL||BTN||W 52–3||36,693|
|September 12||11:00 AM||Western Illinois*||Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL||BTN||W 44–0||37,733|
|September 19||11:00 AM||at North Carolina*||Kenan Memorial Stadium • Chapel Hill, NC||ESPN2||L 14–48||41,000|
|September 26||3:00 PM||Middle Tennessee*||Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL||ESPNews||W 27–25||44,366|
|October 3||3:00 PM||Nebraska||Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL||BTN||W 14–13||40,138|
|October 10||11:00 AM||at No. 22 Iowa||Kinnick Stadium • Iowa City, IA||ESPN2||L 20–29||66,693|
|October 24||2:30 PM||Wisconsin||Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL||BTN||L 13–24||45,438|
|October 31||11:00 AM||at Penn State||Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA||ESPN2||L 0–39||94,417|
|November 7||11:00 AM||at Purdue||Ross–Ade Stadium • West Lafayette, IN (Battle for the Purdue Cannon)||BTN||W 48–14||40,197|
|November 14||11:00 AM||No. 3 Ohio State||Memorial Stadium • Champaign, IL (Battle for the Illibuck)||ABC||L 3–28||51,515|
|November 21||11:00 AM||at Minnesota||TCF Bank Stadium • Minneapolis, MN||ESPNews||L 23–32||47,976|
|November 28||2:30 PM||No. 17 Northwestern||Soldier Field • Chicago, IL (Battle for the Land of Lincoln Trophy)||ESPNU||L 14–24||33,514|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. All times are in Central Time Zone.|
- Schedule Source:
|2015 Illinois Fighting Illini football team roster|
- Ryan, Shannon; Cohen, Jodi S. (August 28, 2015). "Illinois Fires Football Coach Tim Beckman over Mishandling of Injuries". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- "2015 Big Ten Football Schedule Announced" (Press release). Illinois Athletics. June 3, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- "2015 Illinois Fighting Illini Football Schedule". FB Schedules. Retrieved January 20, 2015.