Nebraska 42, Illinois 38 POSTGAME

Yes, the defense allowed way too many yards, but the offense is why we lost. Why doesn’t Peters ever run the ball!? He kept it once and scored a td. You can’t run the read option and have no threat of the QB keeping it!!!
This
Rod is trying to adjust his play calling to a pocket passer. It's not working like we all were hoping. The defense is selling out on those option handoffs.
 
I was at the game:
1. QB play was bad. Either the OL doesn't give him enough time or he is too slow to find an open receiver. Most of our pass plays go outside. Most of our opponents pass plays go across the middle with the receiver catching the ball while moving.
2. We had one safety, who I won't name, who whiffed on tackles that cost three huge plays. If you aren't a good tackler, you can't play the position.
3. Teams with bad defenses and less talent should try to shorten the game. We are trying to play fast and go three and out way too many times. Defense suffers. When we are up two touchdowns vs. an opponent that is favored by approx 2 tds, we should use more of the clock.
4. Agree we should have tried to get in FG range at end of first half.
5. Three major calls hurt us:. First half, chance to go up 28 to 7, their DB clearly grabbed our WR jersey. The picked up flag on block in the back. Some argue that was the right call but picking up the flag very rarely happens. The last Illini play appeared to be clear pass interference.
6. Let me also say, the fumble incomplete pass rule is stupid. If the ball goes pass the line of scrimmage, in my opinion it ain't a fumble
 
South Carolina
Sure feels a lot like last season. 2-1 non-conference record... controlled the first 3 quarters of first big ten game before an epic collapse. Biggest difference for me is last year these things made me mad. This year I don't let it bother me as much.
 
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6. Let me also say, the fumble incomplete pass rule is stupid. If the ball goes pass the line of scrimmage, in my opinion it ain't a fumble
I'm sorry, but this makes absolutely no sense. So if QB fumbles, but bats the ball forward, it's incomplete? Huh?

After review, they got both of these calls correct. The refs were pretty rough tonight, but thank God for the replay official on these 2 plays.
 
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I'm sorry, but this makes absolutely no sense. So if QB fumbles, but bats the ball forward, it's incomplete? Huh?

After review, they got both of these calls correct. The refs were pretty rough tonight, but thank God for the replay official on these 2 plays.
If the Qb fumbles and bats the ball forward fine. When it comes loose in his hand and is still able to throw it past the line of scrimmage, that is a pass. Haven't seen the replay.
 
This stings. So much energy built up to this game I worry our fans and team won’t recover this year.

Literally almost everything went our way. We significantly won the turnover battle, Nebraska had the big penalties, Neb’s outstanding RB left the game, we lead early & often. Couldn’t have asked for a better setup (I don’t put too much stock in the few bad calls since so much else went our way)

Our D was brutal beyond the turnovers. Only bright spots I saw were Hansen (most of the time). Early in game I thought C2 could be salvageable due to the safeties really hitting and making Neb pay, but that still didn’t dissuade them from dicing the cover 2. We can’t stop anyone. This is Lovie’s ultimate downfall with going all in on his D as DC and Miles hire. I wish he would pull a PJ Fleck and “fire” the DC mid season with this bye week for a spark... problem is I don’t think there is anyone on our staff ready to elevate that can bring change.

Our offense was just about as bad. Only saved by short fields of turnovers. We could not make a big play (see third down conversions and no possessions longer than 3 mins).

Some of this is on Rod (those IW packages were cringeworthy keeping Peters on field too). I really feel Peters needs to go though. He’s not the guy. I think we win this game with Bush. Peters feels so much like our version of Jay Cutler - no leadership, poor body language, consistently not making the big play, but flashes just enough to stay around. We just lacked dynamism today - lets give 1 a shot - besides his TD run I felt Peters lack of running on the read plays allows too much focus on Corbin likely preventing that extra yard or two window to break one.
 
This stings. So much energy built up to this game I worry our fans and team won’t recover this year.

Literally almost everything went our way. We significantly won the turnover battle, Nebraska had the big penalties, Neb’s outstanding RB left the game, we lead early & often. Couldn’t have asked for a better setup (I don’t put too much stock in the few bad calls since so much else went our way)

Our D was brutal beyond the turnovers. Only bright spots I saw were Hansen (most of the time). Early in game I thought C2 could be salvageable due to the safeties really hitting and making Neb pay, but that still didn’t dissuade them from dicing the cover 2. We can’t stop anyone. This is Lovie’s ultimate downfall with going all in on his D as DC and Miles hire. I wish he would pull a PJ Fleck and “fire” the DC mid season with this bye week for a spark... problem is I don’t think there is anyone on our staff ready to elevate that can bring change.

Our offense was just about as bad. Only saved by short fields of turnovers. We could not make a big play (see third down conversions and no possessions longer than 3 mins).

Some of this is on Rod (those IW packages were cringeworthy keeping Peters on field too). I really feel Peters needs to go though. He’s not the guy. I think we win this game with Bush. Peters feels so much like our version of Jay Cutler - no leadership, poor body language, consistently not making the big play, but flashes just enough to stay around. We just lacked dynamism today - lets give 1 a shot - besides his TD run I felt Peters lack of running on the read plays allows too much focus on Corbin likely preventing that extra yard or two window to break one.
I think some of you have amnesia with regards to how bad AJ was at the beginning of last year after he came back from being out. He was worse at passing than Peters. His running ability was certainly superior, though.
 
RkTeamGamesPlaysplys/gmYdsyds/plyyds/gameRkTeamGamesTOPTOP/game
1Wisconsin316254.005143.17171.331Wisconsin311538.33
2Ohio St.426065.008883.42222.004Iowa310836.00
5Michigan St.425363.259133.61228.2510Minnesota310334.33
12Iowa315551.677885.08262.6731Indiana412932.25
26Indiana425964.7511874.58296.7537Maryland39431.33
27Maryland320367.678954.41298.3338Michigan St.412631.50
30Minnesota316454.679105.55303.3373Ohio St.411829.50
38Penn St.322073.339704.41323.3378Rutgers38829.33
47Michigan320869.3310314.96343.6786Northwestern38628.67
48Northwestern320668.6710325.01344.0092Nebraska411428.50
56Nebraska429974.7514274.77356.75109Illinois410827.00
75Rutgers323177.0011785.10392.67114Michigan38026.67
83Illinois430075.0016475.49411.75116Purdue37926.33
103Purdue323478.0013165.62438.67127Penn St.37625.33

This chart right here shows you what you need to know about why Illinois gives up so many yards. The teams in the top half of the B1G in TOP/game are the same teams in the top half of the B1G in least amount of yards given up per game....

Look at Iowa's and Minnesota's yds/play given up on defense (5.08 and 5.55 respectively). That's nothing special. Yet they have only given up 262 and 303 yards/game respectively. How? Because they control the ball on their possessions. Imagine if Illinois has possession of the ball for 35ish minutes yesterday (like Iowa and Minnesota do on average). How would this game look different? We had the ball for 22 minutes.... TWENTY-TWO!

Blame the defense all you want, but the numbers are starting to show more and more that the offense is the bigger issue here. And, it's not just the players not having ability. Yes, we have weaknesses, but we have some absolute studs. It's the plays that are being called.

We can't fix a defense when the defense is expected to control 65% of the game... That's just setting kids up for failure.
 
RkTeamGamesPlaysplys/gmYdsyds/plyyds/gameRkTeamGamesTOPTOP/game
1Wisconsin316254.005143.17171.331Wisconsin311538.33
2Ohio St.426065.008883.42222.004Iowa310836.00
5Michigan St.425363.259133.61228.2510Minnesota310334.33
12Iowa315551.677885.08262.6731Indiana412932.25
26Indiana425964.7511874.58296.7537Maryland39431.33
27Maryland320367.678954.41298.3338Michigan St.412631.50
30Minnesota316454.679105.55303.3373Ohio St.411829.50
38Penn St.322073.339704.41323.3378Rutgers38829.33
47Michigan320869.3310314.96343.6786Northwestern38628.67
48Northwestern320668.6710325.01344.0092Nebraska411428.50
56Nebraska429974.7514274.77356.75109Illinois410827.00
75Rutgers323177.0011785.10392.67114Michigan38026.67
83Illinois430075.0016475.49411.75116Purdue37926.33
103Purdue323478.0013165.62438.67127Penn St.37625.33
This chart right here shows you what you need to know about why Illinois gives up so many yards. The teams in the top half of the B1G in TOP/game are the same teams in the top half of the B1G in least amount of yards given up per game....


Look at Iowa's and Minnesota's yds/play given up on defense (5.08 and 5.55 respectively). That's nothing special. Yet they have only given up 262 and 303 yards/game respectively. How? Because they control the ball on their possessions. Imagine if Illinois has possession of the ball for 35ish minutes yesterday (like Iowa and Minnesota do on average). How would this game look different? We had the ball for 22 minutes.... TWENTY-TWO!

Blame the defense all you want, but the numbers are starting to show more and more that the offense is the bigger issue here. And, it's not just the players not having ability. Yes, we have weaknesses, but we have some absolute studs. It's the plays that are being called.

We can't fix a defense when the defense is expected to control 65% of the game... That's just setting kids up for failure.
Fair and great use of the metrics to back up your analysis. HOWEVER, you can’t stare at a yards per play that aggregiously high and suggest that the offense is our primary concern. It’s clearly a 50-50 blame share and Lovie and the kids on that side of the ball need to take their part of ownership in that.

After watching it back, I can confirm 3 plays that were potential 25+ yard gains if not outright touchdowns that Adrian Martinez missed yesterday where the receiver is essentially running wide open down the field. And to clarify, so there is no confusion, I do mean WIDE OPEN. If those plays were made, yesterday would have been significantly worse and 693 yards is already pretty ugly.

We may well have the worst secondary in the country and this includes the atrocity that UTEP is running out there. Our back half defensively in terms of play and our apparent lack of understanding of basic combination coverages is an embarrassment. Quan Martin and our safeties are clearly not Big Ten players.
 
Fair and great use of the metrics to back up your analysis. HOWEVER, you can’t stare at a yards per play that aggregiously high and suggest that the offense is our primary concern. It’s clearly a 50-50 blame share and Lovie and the kids on that side of the ball need to take their part of ownership in that.

After watching it back, I can confirm 3 plays that were potential 25+ yard gains if not outright touchdowns that Adrian Martinez missed yesterday where the receiver is essentially running wide open down the field. And to clarify, so there is no confusion, I do mean WIDE OPEN. If those plays were made, yesterday would have been significantly worse and 693 yards is already pretty ugly.

We may well have the worst secondary in the country and this includes the atrocity that UTEP is running out there. Our back half defensively in terms of play and our apparent lack of understanding of basic combination coverages is an embarrassment. Quan Martin and our safeties are clearly not Big Ten players.
Good points both. Martinez was not an accurate passer last night but combined with his legs is a very good QB...would like Isaiah to be that good.
 
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Look we were 2 touchdown dogs and we were in it till the end so I’m happy. That being said we have to do better as we have chances to win this game and need to take advantage
 
I am positive Illinois is not the only team against which QBs missed wide open receivers. The stats show what the stats show.

If we don’t start maintaining possession of the ball, this season is going to get ugly(er).
 
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We are, I believe, the 3rd worst Power 5 team in the country in yards allowed per play. If you think offensive time of possession is the bigger issue (The phrase that keeps sticking with me here), then I believe you’re going to be highly disappointed when/if that starts to trend more positively for us but our defensive yards per play (Which does not correlate) remain the same, if not gets worse.

We have issues everywhere. Rod Smith is merely one of them. Fixing our offensive play calling won’t fix this defense or this team.
 
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Oskee ... good analysis and your point is fair and I’ve always felt our O hasn’t done our D many favors. It doesn’t excuse how bad our D has been for nearly 1.5 seasons now. I do think there is something to be said for lack of a ying and yang between what we are (and philosophically try to be) on O vs D and what could most help the team.

Last night we were 1/12 on 3rd downs with 22 mins of possession - bad! Looking back at 2018 most of our games the D got ripped we minimally struggled with 3rd down conversion and often with TOP too...
- Purdue: 3/13 22 mins
- Maryland: 6/15 25 mins
- Iowa: 2/17 31 mins (?gave up on this game don’t know how that TOP came)
- Penn State 4/12 30 mins

Nebraska last year we were 55% on 3rd down with 30 mins of possession which is the only game we got 50+ balled that doesn’t fit the bill.
 
YPP is something Iowa and Minnesota struggle with mightily. But they are in the top half of the B1G when it comes to fewest yards/game.

The math is very simple to follow: if you give up a lot of yards per play, limit the number of plays you are on defense.

The best way to do this? Stop going 1-12 on third downs. Possess the ball longer than 26 minutes a game. Quit being boom or bust on offense (both of which result in sub two minute drives).

On a side note, I would like to see how our yards per play look as the game goes on. Someone posted a very interesting stat about Illinois’ first 50 defensive plays vs the plays after that. Isn’t like to see that stat across the first 4 games.
 
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This game boils down to ONE reason we lost this game. Not officiating, not QB play. It was the ridiculous play calling on offense that caused our defense to wear out. Is Lovie helping call these plays or is this 100% on Rod Smith? You have to shorten the game. This was winnable, and the coaches took it away from the kids and the fans. If Josh Whitman doesn't recognize this soon, we are going to have to put up with football confusion until he does.
 
I will say this though, and then I’m leaving the conversation as I can barely handle Illini football on Saturdays... let alone through the week...

These numbers do convince me that if we were to make simple adjustments, I think there are actually 5 beatable teams left on our schedule. It just sucks because we lost to two beatable teams already...
 
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If you can't generate a consistent pass rush Tampa 2 is about the worst defensive system you can use. Of course when your offense only has the ball for 22 min even the 85 Bears are going to wear down eventually. Run the damn ball more, it's evident at this point that Peters is not consistently accurate enough to carry the offense.
 
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Defensive strategy of giving up a ton of yards and time of possession to try to tire out the Nebraska offense seemed to work well... even tired out their kicker. Offense was well rested -- in fact, Brandon Peters appeared to be sleepwalking during much of the game -- with the ball with 2 minutes to go. Lovie gave the offense a rest at the end of the first half so they could be well rested and ready to go at crunch time. This loss is ALL on the offense!
 
No, I really don’t think you’re understanding... you actually proved my point. YPP is something Iowa and Minnesota struggle with mightily. But they are in the top half of the B1G when it comes to fewest yards/game.

The math is very simple to follow: if you give up a lot of yards per play, limit the number of plays you are on defense.

The best way to do this? Stop going 1-12 on third downs. Possess the ball longer than 26 minutes a game. Quit being boom or bust on offense (both of which result in sub two minute drives).

On a side note, I would like to see how our yards per play look as the game goes on. Someone posted a very interesting stat about Illinois’ first 50 defensive plays vs the plays after that. Isn’t like to see that stat across the first 4 games.
No, you’re not understanding. You’re cherry pick one outlier (Iowa is a terrible example, Minnesota is fair) and saying “See? My conclusion is correct” when in reality it is merely identifying outliers. Case in point, the team you ignored, Penn State. Penn State is in the bottom 5 of the conference for plays against per game (1.67 less than Illinois), dead last in the conference in time of possession and yet they sit in the top 5 of the conference for yards allowed per play and 3rd in the conference in points allowed per game. This tells us that if outliers make our statements, your plays per game and TOP analysis as it correlates to overall defensive play is essentially invalidated. I don’t actually believe that 100% but I can clearly make the case that it’s accurate if I only pay attention to outliers.

This is an equal blame situation. If you give up a high number of yards per play, your number one priority should not be to limit your plays, your number one priority should be to give up less yards.