Looking ahead to 2020

#51
Its not out of the realm of possibility considering his lack of experience, no. But that isn't going to make me sleep well at night. We need 10-15 sacks from our D line during conference play at the very minimum. A big jump from Wole would be 6. Where is the rest coming from? In my opinion it is our weakest unit and one of the most important
Realm of possibility is a little mild. Truthfully, Wole progressing to a high degree with an off-season of intense work could occur with a reasonably high degree of certainty.
 
#52
Realm of possibility is a little mild. Truthfully, Wole progressing to a high degree with an off-season of intense work could occur with a reasonably high degree of certainty.
We both agree that he can improve, and should. But his starting point is a DE who was constantly locked down by any and all Power 5 level O lineman he went up against. So anything outside amazing improvement isn't making him nor this unit progress to where we need them to be. He isn't going to be AJ Epenesa next year, and I have a hard time seeing a Bobby Roundtree either. So if the most probable outcome is the actual result, we are in trouble again
 
#53
We both agree that he can improve, and should. But his starting point is a DE who was constantly locked down by any and all Power 5 level O lineman he went up against. So anything outside amazing improvement isn't making him nor this unit progress to where we need them to be. He isn't going to be AJ Epenesa next year, and I have a hard time seeing a Bobby Roundtree either. So if the most probable outcome is the actual result, we are in trouble again
Looking at it the in the wrong way.
 
#58
The team was 19 points from being 9-3 and 15 points from being 3-9. The Wisconsin, Purdue and Iowa games felt like 9-3. The Eastern Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern games felt like 3-9.
Oh crap... I hadn't thought of it that way.

But you know what, that might be the #1 improvement they made this year. We as fans are starting to believe. The glass is starting to look half full instead of half empty.
 
#61
I see 7 to 10 wins on that schedule, if we return who we should and add a little more help. Look at who we add right now in Ford, Smith, Gardner, and Beason. Our QB will be much improved after having a year and a spring under his belt. WR position, looks to be even more improved than it was this year and adds more help. Frosh there all get another year older. Concerns are DT and DE. We lose a lot and need a pass rush. But, DE will have some seniors that need to have that senior year. LB'ers will be stout and more athletic. I cannot wait to see the battles for those spots. Secondary has to replace Green. RB's should have solid options. The wildcard being the one always hurt. Brown might be the starter there. OL will have the same four and will add one more. But, all those young OL are not young anymore. It is a veteran group. It will all come down to the immediate help we find.
 
#62
And can one of you copy and paste it to the thread when you receive it? Thanks
Yeah, why you wanna leave us all out of the loop? Some of us mostly lurkers, want to be shared with.... .wassup w that?!?!?
 
#63
The team was 19 points from being 9-3 and 15 points from being 3-9. The Wisconsin, Purdue and Iowa games felt like 9-3. The Eastern Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern games felt like 3-9.
honestly, from my point of view, we were a 5 To 6 win team. With our losses and wins, that didn’t change. We just happened to lose games we should have won and vice versa. At no point was this team a 9 or 10 win team (it was possible we won that many, but that didn’t represent the level of talent on this team). We won 6, which beat expectations. Next year, we will be slated To win 4 or 5 with 4 toss ups. This is about where we are as a program. If you ask me, 7 wins is about expected, but we could have a Minnesota-like season. The only team on our schedule that we probably won’t hang with is Ohio state. But football wins are never easy, so I’m expecting a grind. This season, our offense was atrocious. We struggled to get first downs, we struggled to move the ball. the qb situation was suspect and our play calling was atrocious. Teams stacked the box, but we kept running. Next season, add some experience and time between qbs and receivers and I’m sure expecting a significant uptick. unlike dude, I wasn’t disappointed with the Defensive line. I thought our tackles pushed the line and set upspace for our linebackers to make great plays. I think next season we will look marginally better on defense with more guys to rotate.the big question is whether or not we can replace our three seniors on the defensive line.
 
#65
Normal, Illinois
What I'm most intrigued about is that all of the receivers from this year will be back if Bhebe doesn't leave early for the NFL (Hasn't been discussed or rumored as far as I know, but if there's interest from NFL teams, why play another year?), as well as Luke Ford being eligible (I hope Rod properly utilizes some two TE sets). 2020 could feature the most dynamic Illini passing attack since the '99-'01 teams.
 
#66
Anyone else worried about Brandon Peters health? Will be interesting to see how things go for bowl game. He’d be huge to have chalked in for 2020 but I worry.

He started 4 games at UM and then missed games / lost job due to concussion protocol. 10 starts here at UI and 2 concussions. Who knows if anything else out there in his history.

That is every 3-4 games for him. He’s already a UM grad and prob nearing masters here. How many concussions before you just hang it up? Obviously a very personalized decision and specific to his medical cases but on the outside looking in feels like a big health risk
 
#67
We are a middle of the road .500 team for the foreseeable future, which represents progress. I’m just happy I can watch a game without turning it off out of frustration at halftime.
Fortunately, new recruiting classes come in every year. A few bowl games (3+) in a row would be something Illinois hasn’t done in a long time (early 90s). If Lovie can do that, it would be a huge step forward. Then the following years, we will have a lot to look forward to.
 
#69
Full disclosure, I was completely with Lovie until the eastern Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota stretch. Then I thought it was time for a change. All I want is a good, clean program that is improving. I think we have that now. Even in spite of the loss to Northwestern. Now, I will be very happy with Six or seven wins and a bowl game for at least the next three or four years. You have to crawl before you can walk, before you can run.
 
#70
Fri.___Sept. 4___Illinois State
Sat.___Sept. 12__UConn
Sat.___Sept. 19__Bowling Green
Sat.___Sept. 26__--bye---
Sat.___Oct. 3____at Rutgers
Sat.___Oct. 10___at Nebraska
Sat.___Oct. 17___Purdue (Homecoming)
Sat.___Oct. 24___Minnesota
Sat.___Oct. 31___at Wisconsin
Sat.___Nov. 7____Iowa
Sat.___Nov. 14___at Indiana
Sat.___Nov. 21___Ohio State
Sat.___Nov. 28___at Northwestern
I see a possible 8-9 wins there.
 
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#71
8 wins is the ceiling here. Anyone predicting more than that hasn't woke up this morning.
The ceiling is 11 wins, if you don't think so, look at Minnesota this past year. A mediocre team that got lucky early in the season and grew confidence by late season.

Our team has the same potential next year. The only team on the schedule we aren't in the same ballpark talent-wise is Ohio State. Every other game is winnable. But I wouldn't bet on an 11 win season. 8 isn't a stretch, anything more will mean we get more calls/make more plays than we give up.
 
#72
Chambana
The ceiling is 11 wins, if you don't think so, look at Minnesota this past year. A mediocre team that got lucky early in the season and grew confidence by late season.

Our team has the same potential next year. The only team on the schedule we aren't in the same ballpark talent-wise is Ohio State. Every other game is winnable. But I wouldn't bet on an 11 win season. 8 isn't a stretch, anything more will mean we get more calls/make more plays than we give up.
Minnesota is ranked #13 in the advanced stats. I wouldn’t call them a mediocre team.
 
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#74
But I wouldn't bet on an 11 win season. 8 isn't a stretch, anything more will mean we get more calls/make more plays than we give up.
So if we get to 7 wins, lose to OSU, WI, Minny, Iowa, and NE - what would you be asking Whitman to do?

I wouldn't expect us to be favored in any of those games, NE being most likely to pull out a win even though it is away.
 
#75
So if we get to 7 wins, lose to OSU, WI, Minny, Iowa, and NE - what would you be asking Whitman to do?

I wouldn't expect us to be favored in any of those games, NE being most likely to pull out a win even though it is away.
If we win 7, compete in the others except for OSU, we are meeting my expectations. Tie that in with continuously improved recruiting. I am ok. We are not OSU, psu, or Mich and won't be anytime soon. We can aspire to that but it will be a long hard slog. It bothers me that game coaching appears questionable but don't want to start over.
 
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