Looking ahead to 2019

#51
Tate and Thomas would be two guys with a level of athleticism we haven't had on our field in a looooong time.
I hate it when people say stuff like that.

Reggie Corbin was leaving jock straps strewn about the field all season. If we can amass that three headed monster next year, he'll be the most elusive of the three.

Tate and Thomas would be two guys with a level of non-Illinois notoriety we haven't had on our field since Wes Lunt was a three-year starter here. That is what is being reacted to, and that shiny new toy value among the fans goes away the second they make a mistake.
 
#52
I hate it when people say stuff like that.

Reggie Corbin was leaving jock straps strewn about the field all season. If we can amass that three headed monster next year, he'll be the most elusive of the three.

Tate and Thomas would be two guys with a level of non-Illinois notoriety we haven't had on our field since Wes Lunt was a three-year starter here. That is what is being reacted to, and that shiny new toy value among the fans goes away the second they make a mistake.
Agree. Corbin is a special player. A total stud.
 
#53
I would take Tate in a heartbeat for one year! After saying that, if we bring in another 5th year at least two of our three sophomore QB’s will ask for a transfer. Most likely Rivers and Taylor. Just my gut feeling. I still think we need to move Taylor to WR or try him at FS/SS. He is a great athlete and has some size.
 
#54
So what’s the minimum for Lovie to be retained? I think most of you will say bowl or bust. But most of you have also talked about simply being competitive.

What if we go 5-7 but are competitive in every game? Like cover the spread against Michigan and right there with every other opponent. That’s enough to show improvement right?

To me, that’s a big step up over 63-0 and would deserve more fan support going into the next season. Unless our recruiting class is completely bare.
We go 5-7 and are competitive, Lovie is back and he should be.
 
#55
I'm surprised more people aren't talking about Kyron Cumby as a slot receiver with huge potential. 4.36 is flying
Cumby played training camps as a slot. In one of the 7 on 7s that I posted about, he ran a route, caught a touchdown threw up and came back and kept playing. I think we see him as a slot next year. Especially if we have any sort of situation with injuries.
 
#56
Disagree with the Wisconsin prediction. They struggled offensively all season. Minnesota roughed them up. Minnesota.

Our offense will be a force next year and our defense will at least be mediocre. That is enough to play with a team like Wisky. It's also homecoming and we will likely be 4-2 at that point. Should be enough to have the stadium rocking.
I don't disagree, but everyone in Wisconsin knew that this would be a down year with attrition. From what Wisconsinites have told me, they are poised to reclaim the west next year.
 
#57
I would take Tate in a heartbeat for one year! After saying that, if we bring in another 5th year at least two of our three sophomore QB’s will ask for a transfer. Most likely Rivers and Taylor. Just my gut feeling.
I dont agree. MJ seems like a smart kid. Having Tate would set up real nice for him. This is also based on my assumption that he is a better QB than a young Isaiah also. Taylor isnt getting a shot to play QB at any other D1 school. I agree he has the body to play defense
 
#58
When did kids start transferring out the last 2 years? That is what I am most anxious for right now. And I believe the biggest indicator of the state of the locker room. Obviously impact guys are the most important. But I am really talking about the Kahlin Tolsons and Jordan Slaughters. The dudes we expect to make impacts down the road.
 
#62
2017 Illinois Stat Rankings

Total Offense: 280.4 yards/game (126 out of 130)
Scoring Offense: 15.4 points/game (125 out of 130)

Total Defense: 418 yards/game (80 out of 130)
Scoring Defense: 31.5 points/game (89 out of 130)


2018 Illinois Stat Rankings

Total Offense: 413.5 yards/game (54 out of 130)
Scoring Offense: 25.3 points/game (84 out of 130)

Total Defense: 522.2 yards/game (128 out of 130)
Scoring Defense: 41.7 points/game (126 out of 130)


2019 Illinois Stat Rankings (Projected to reach at least 6 wins)
Total Offense: 435 yards/game (35 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)
Scoring Offense: 30 points/game (48 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)

Total Defense: 440 yards/game (93 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)
Scoring Defense: 33 points/game (94 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)


Are these projections doable? A lot of unknowns with defensive coordinator and potential transfers but offense seems plausible, defensive improvement seems aggressive. You need to smash together the 2018 offense with the 2017 defense to see six wins without squinting.
 
Likes: thunderwear
#63
Aug. 31____Akron
Sept. 7____at UConn
Sept. 14___Eastern Michigan
Sept. 21___Nebraska
Sept. 28___BYE
Oct. 5_____at Minnesota
Oct. 12____Michigan
Oct. 19____Wisconsin (Homecoming)
Oct. 26____at Purdue
Nov. 2_____Rutgers (Dads Day)
Nov. 9_____at Michigan State
Nov. 16____BYE
Nov. 23____at Iowa
Nov. 30____Northwestern




Is there hope for next year? Dunno. I 'd like to think so, but...

That Eastern Michigan game is terrifying.
 
Likes: illinifan4249
#64
Tate and Thomas will forsure get us to the bowl. Tate, Corbin, and Thomas are gonna ball be All Big 10 players if they pay for us next year. Hard part is securing them...
 
#66
2017 Illinois Stat Rankings

Total Offense: 280.4 yards/game (126 out of 130)
Scoring Offense: 15.4 points/game (125 out of 130)

Total Defense: 418 yards/game (80 out of 130)
Scoring Defense: 31.5 points/game (89 out of 130)


2018 Illinois Stat Rankings

Total Offense: 413.5 yards/game (54 out of 130)
Scoring Offense: 25.3 points/game (84 out of 130)

Total Defense: 522.2 yards/game (128 out of 130)
Scoring Defense: 41.7 points/game (126 out of 130)


2019 Illinois Stat Rankings (Projected to reach at least 6 wins)
Total Offense: 435 yards/game (35 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)
Scoring Offense: 30 points/game (48 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)

Total Defense: 440 yards/game (93 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)
Scoring Defense: 33 points/game (94 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)


Are these projections doable? A lot of unknowns with defensive coordinator and potential transfers but offense seems plausible, defensive improvement seems aggressive. You need to smash together the 2018 offense with the 2017 defense to see six wins without squinting.
I would say both your Offensive and Defensive estimates are the floor of what we should be. I will be very disappointed if those are our defensive stats with new DC and maturing roster.
 
#67
2018 Illinois Stat Rankings

Total Offense: 413.5 yards/game (54 out of 130)
Scoring Offense: 25.3 points/game (84 out of 130)

Total Defense: 522.2 yards/game (128 out of 130)
Scoring Defense: 41.7 points/game (126 out of 130)


2019 Illinois Stat Rankings (Projected to reach at least 6 wins)
Total Offense: 435 yards/game (35 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)
Scoring Offense: 30 points/game (48 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)

Total Defense: 440 yards/game (93 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)
Scoring Defense: 33 points/game (94 out of 130 based on 2018 rankings)


Are these projections doable? A lot of unknowns with defensive coordinator and potential transfers but offense seems plausible, defensive improvement seems aggressive. You need to smash together the 2018 offense with the 2017 defense to see six wins without squinting.
I think the Offense can make that jump mainly due to the offensive line's all around maturity. Make no mistake, losing Nick A is a huge hit. If Alex P. can fill that leadership void left behind, the line can take a step forward. IF that happens, I do not think we are kicking FGs inside the 10 yd. line anymore. That makes up that 5 points per game. Hopefully the decrease in QB play is offset by WRs that actually catch the football. Now if we get Tate to QB, throw that last part out the window. We could easily be at 35-40 points per game.

Defense...ugh. We know Hobbs and Adams will be a year older, they are good players. S Brown hopefully will learn correct angles at this level. Beason could be at CB allowing Adams to play safety again. We need Milo to = Phillips and Jake has to put on more weight to take on O lineman. That unit has to be better at tackling. Most importantly the D Line. This group was the most disappointing unit last year. But that doesn't mean they cant be the most improved next year. Junior year Rountree should be fun to watch. Remember this year he didn't get started really until B1G play. And he missed out on like 6 other sacks. Can Calvin Avery get a Roundtree esk production Fresh-Soph boost? He has the talent. We get to add Verdis to this group as well as another year of maturity for everyone else. It is definitely doable. But this defense will live and die by the defensive line IMO.
 
#68
Not that it will be a cake walk, but they lose like 13 starters and were propped up by several transfers who were seniors
They lose almost all there offensive playmakers and a couple top defenders. They will not be the same team they were this year, and honestly they werent all that special.
 
#69
I think the Offense can make that jump mainly due to the offensive line's all around maturity. Make no mistake, losing Nick A is a huge hit. If Alex P. can fill that leadership void left behind, the line can take a step forward. IF that happens, I do not think we are kicking FGs inside the 10 yd. line anymore. That makes up that 5 points per game. Hopefully the decrease in QB play is offset by WRs that actually catch the football. Now if we get Tate to QB, throw that last part out the window. We could easily be at 35-40 points per game.

Defense...ugh. We know Hobbs and Adams will be a year older, they are good players. S Brown hopefully will learn correct angles at this level. Beason could be at CB allowing Adams to play safety again. We need Milo to = Phillips and Jake has to put on more weight to take on O lineman. That unit has to be better at tackling. Most importantly the D Line. This group was the most disappointing unit last year. But that doesn't mean they cant be the most improved next year. Junior year Rountree should be fun to watch. Remember this year he didn't get started really until B1G play. And he missed out on like 6 other sacks. Can Calvin Avery get a Roundtree esk production Fresh-Soph boost? He has the talent. We get to add Verdis to this group as well as another year of maturity for everyone else. It is definitely doable. But this defense will live and die by the defensive line IMO.
I agree with your comments about the offense, but the Illini were also very fortunate that the entire offensive line was relatively healthy the whole year. Maybe I worry too much about OL injuries.

As for defense, Lovie's defense puts a lot of stress on the linebacker to cover and, of course, help stop the run. That's the position I'm most concerned about. Eifler, who was a third string linebacker at Washington, is expected to start. Is that a sad statement or what? And there are no other LB commits currently, correct? DL, what happened this year? Was Phair that instrumental?
 
#70
I agree with your comments about the offense, but the Illini were also very fortunate that the entire offensive line was relatively healthy the whole year. Maybe I worry too much about OL injuries.

This is a big worry for me. This might have been the healthiest offensive line in Illinois history. Chance of replicating this is remote.
 
#74
Naperville
After saying that, if we bring in another 5th year at least two of our three sophomore QB’s will ask for a transfer. Most likely Rivers and Taylor. Just my gut feeling. I still think we need to move Taylor to WR or try him at FS/SS. He is a great athlete and has some size.
Taylor has already said he will not move to another position. He was recruited here as a QB and if it doesn't work out then he should move on. If we want another WR or SS then we should recruit those as opposed to moving guys to positions they have never played. I get that there is precedent for these kinds of moves but more often then not guys like this move on like Thomas, Peters, Bailey, etc. did.

I would hope they stick around just because we have had years where we've gotten down to the 3rd String QB and were a snap away from a walk on playing.

I would also encourage patience. It's discouraging that Taylor appears to be behind Miller at this point but his problem is with the play book as opposed to his ability. QB is very much a developmental position so I will stay patient. The same goes for IW if he doesn't win the job right away.
 
#75
Naperville
I hate it when people say stuff like that Tate and Thomas would be two guys with a level of non-Illinois notoriety we haven't had on our field since Wes Lunt was a three-year starter here. That is what is being reacted to, and that shiny new toy value among the fans goes away the second they make a mistake.
Maybe that would be the case with Tate since ANYONE who plays QB will be criticized and eventually make mistakes. I don't see that with Thomas.

The WR play has been so bad the last three years I can't imagine getting upset with Thomas. I mean, yeah, if he continually drops passes and muffs punts I can see that happening but he was a playmaking machine at a good program. The bar is just so low here that I can't imagine people getting too critical of him if he were to actually play most of the season.

A lot of times these higher profile transfers are transferring because they aren't living up to the hype or are not getting playing time. A guy like Fayson or even Lunt comes to mind. Lunt only came here because he fell to third on the depth chart at OK State.

The reasons that Tate and Thomas are transferring appear to be different. Tate isn't a fit for what Mazzone is trying to do and they aren't putting him in the same position to succeed the way he was under Rod.

Another thread addresses the issues with Thomas and they have very little to do with his play making ability.

Your comments would probably be more applicable for someone like Luke Ford who could have been overrated out of HS and has not been productive at all in college. I would keep my expectations in check for someone like him if he transfers and is eligible in 2020.