Northwestern 24, Illinois 16 POSTGAME

#28
Actually, I think I'm in the minority, but I think we took a step in the right direction. Though tiny.

Won two conference games
Won a conference road game
Increased our win total by 2

The offense, especially rushing, took a massive step forward.

We were in a lot of games where I expected us to get wrecked.

The games that we did get whooped in were purely due to a lack of speed(Maryland and Purdue) and physical strength (Iowa).

It's really the defensive side of the ball where we need to get bigger, faster, stronger. That can be done.

I like the offense.

Definitely some positives.
 
#29
Babies whine without legitimate answers. Firing Lovie and praying we land a genius that somehow FSU, Florida, Miami have somehow couldn't identify is a pipedream.

Next year our starters will be playing against many teams with a bunch of new starters. We need to keep our players and continue to develop them. Add to our weaknesses (WR, LB, Safety) and hire the best college DC available $$$. If a better QB is available need to land him, but Rivers should be solid next year.
 
#30
At least we didn’t eclipse the ‘81 Mildcats for the worst Big Ten defense of all time. So there’s that.
Agreed :thumb: Both IL 2018 & NW back then had 9-game schedules, of which there have only been 5 full league seasons (and some partial seasons). This defense wasn't good & gave up a ton, PPG given up would be a better stat (would be fun to see..I'm not sure where to find that).
Along those lines, look for various total points records to fall in men's hoops this season with the new 20-game schedule :)
 
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#31
I thought Bush looked today like I expect Rivers to look next year. With a couple receivers that can catch the ball, this will be a very interesting offense to watch. Lovie has to bite the bullet and turn the defense over to the best DC money can buy.

If we had today's AJ Bush all season, this would have been a very different season.
 
#32
Babies whine without legitimate answers. Firing Lovie and praying we land a genius that somehow FSU, Florida, Miami have somehow couldn't identify is a pipedream.

Next year our starters will be playing against many teams with a bunch of new starters. We need to keep our players and continue to develop them. Add to our weaknesses (WR, LB, Safety) and hire the best college DC available $$$. If a better QB is available need to land him, but Rivers should be solid next year.
I say no way Rivers starts next year. Williams is a five-star QB. He should start from day 1. If he doesn't start next year, he'll transfer. If you want to keep him in the program, start him as a freshman.
 
#33
Went to the Trinity game today in St. Louis. In some ways, I have no idea why any of those kids would want to come to this dumpster fire.

On the other hand, I think we were a little bit better than last year. We won 4 games. We were competitive against USF and Northwestern and most of Penn Freaking State. We obliterated a big ten team. As another poster said earlier, I went into the season thinking 4 games would be acceptable and any more would be good. If our defense makes improvement to be a top 100 team next year there is no doubt we go bowling.

Next year: We are losing very little. Once again we are improving in almost every position. Perhaps the biggest improvement will be on the lines. We had one total senior lineman on both sides of the ball this year!
 
#34
Went to the Trinity game today in St. Louis. In some ways, I have no idea why any of those kids would want to come to this dumpster fire.

On the other hand, I think we were a little bit better than last year. We won 4 games. We were competitive against USF and Northwestern and most of Penn Freaking State. We obliterated a big ten team. As another poster said earlier, I went into the season thinking 4 games would be acceptable and any more would be good. If our defense makes improvement to be a top 100 team next year there is no doubt we go bowling.

Next year: We are losing very little. Once again we are improving in almost every position. Perhaps the biggest improvement will be on the lines. We had one total senior lineman on both sides of the ball this year!
Hopefully, they look at the record and didn't actually see the loses. I already know most of them did. This is why we hired Patterson, right? I hope Lovie does some serious reflection on what has gone wrong and makes some serious changes. He surprised me last year, so it's possible I guess.
 
#35
We are 7th in the Big in total offense which is pretty solid. 13th in the nation in rush offense. For that explosive running attack we keep Corbin, Epstein, and Bonner. We only lose 1 offensive line that was in the upper half of the big (albeit a key piece in Allegretti) so we should once again be Top 25. AJ Bush accounted for a lot of yards, but I think Isaiah could replicate that and Rod Smith showed he's not afraid to run with Rivers either. If we get Jeff Thomas, and Marquez ends up at wide receiver then the QB would have 3 potential All Big team receivers. If we have any semblance of a defense next year then we could make it to 6-6, but the fact that or offense performed pretty good and we ended up 4-8 shows just how much they have to make up for the lack of defense. I hope for a bowl game next year, but need to see some more hope for the defense because we have no other big additions there as of now besides Milo and maybe Okpala depending on how ready he is. I hope that next year #WeWillWin might be a more relevant for Illinois football.
 
#36
Hopefully, they look at the record and didn't actually see the loses. I already know most of them did. This is why we hired Patterson, right? I hope Lovie does some serious reflection on what has gone wrong and makes some serious changes. He surprised me last year, so it's possible I guess.
One thing I think Lovie did wrong was hiring Nickerson as defensive coordinator. The Illini defense has been horrendous. In hindsight, Nickerson was a terrible hire.
 
#37
Actually, I think I'm in the minority, but I think we took a step in the right direction. Though tiny.

Won two conference games
Won a conference road game
Increased our win total by 2

The offense, especially rushing, took a massive step forward.

We were in a lot of games where I expected us to get wrecked.

The games that we did get whooped in were purely due to a lack of speed(Maryland and Purdue) and physical strength (Iowa).

It's really the defensive side of the ball where we need to get bigger, faster, stronger. That can be done.

I like the offense.

Definitely some positives.
I agree with you. Progress was made - the roller coaster of it all made it tough to ride - get your hopes up and then have them dashed in pounding fashion

Was at the game today... loved to see all the orange there! Our fans still showed up. No hot takes to add beyond what was already said - typical Illini 2018 in how we lost but glad it was of the USF/PSU variety and we came to compete and not an open defensive turnstyle. I look forward to seeing what another year brings with 2019
 
#38
San Bernardino, Ca.
Seems like it's been a weird season all around. OSU hangs 62 on the best defense in the country today. We blasted a Minnesota team that handled Wisconsin handily today. I dunno, just seems we have more talent on defense than what we showed all year. Hopefully a new DC can bring that talent out next season.
Just strange.
 
#39
Seems like it's been a weird season all around. OSU hangs 62 on the best defense in the country today. We blasted a Minnesota team that handled Wisconsin handily today. I dunno, just seems we have more talent on defense than what we showed all year. Hopefully a new DC can bring that talent out next season.
Just strange.
I agree I think for the most part guys have the talent on defense it’s just building more strength and speed and knowing where to go. We were a step slow for most of the year on defensive reads. Hansen and Brown for instance overplayed gap assignments all year on run plays
 
#40
Outside of our rushing game and offensive line I just don't see the progress. Yes we doubled our wins to 4, but only one was against a team worth anything.

It took at 4th quarter comeback and a goal line defensive stand to beat Kent St, a win over FCS WIU where we were up 7 at the half, a win against a horrible Rutgers team, and our lone good win against Minnesota. The defense has taken massive steps back in all facets other than interceptions.

The schedule sets up nice last year, but it did the same this year. I just have no faith in Lovie or his ability to turn it around, especially considering what he is getting paid.

There's no identity or consistency in players, line ups, coaches etc.... N
 
#41
I had to look up who even got the penalty on that final stand, but I've yet to find a video nor article that actually details what this penalty was actually about. Which makes it very suspect as you'd think SOMEONE would have a bit more info about what happened.
 
#43
Maybe we can hire someone on OFFENSE who can teach them to get a touchdown, instead of kicking field goals....
I don’t even know how to correctly respond to this.

Our offense was the only bright spot of the season. What were we expecting? This was not a filled out quality team. Not withstanding the Iowa game this team can score points, what do we want?

Illinois needs a capable DB core. Find that and they are a somewhat sound 5-6, 6-5, maybe even a 7-4 team. Nothing crazy good, but a team that could be capable of winning a few games. We can finally move the ball in way that puts the opposition on their heels. Not always, but good enough to be a minor bowl team right now with an even mediocre big ten defense.

Is that a fair representation of the season? No!!

But, that eternal optimism that we all sadly hold onto demands results in any form possible and imagined or not they could be there.

Is this a good team? No! Do we want them to be deep in our soul? Yes! More than ever, this season, compared to the last decade, this team has shown they are growing into an actual football program. Are they there yet? No! Do they look like crap? Yes. Do they look capable occasionally? Yes! Is this an improvement? Yes! With a team full of young and under recruited players the have looked great and terrible and that shockingly gives me more hope than ever before...

All I know is this team didn’t look like any team I’ve watched in the last 10 years.

I’ve been infuriated, I’ve been infatuated, but I’ve finally been interested, throughout.
 
#44
At least I was interested. Threw my socks at the TV on one of the dropped passes. #9, Mays I think, well he does not catch everything like Willie did.

The season was a small step forward from last year. How many baby steps till we make some serious strides?

GO ILLINI!
 
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#46
I was one of the people expecting a 45-14 loss, and while I wasn't able to watch the game and pleasantly surprised by the final score. Though it helped we appeared to be going against Northwestern's second string most of the second half and still couldn't win....
 
#48
I'm still on the receiver thing. There was a lot of criticism of Bush all season long. He wasn't perfect, but how better he would have been treated had the receivers done their jobs. Yesterday was a perfect example. Bush looked pretty darned good. What an athlete.

Receivers: run the routes, show some speed. But maybe Illini should bring in a baseball coach to show receivers how to catch.

Feel bad for Illini players at season's end; hope I don't feel this way in 2019. Keep those blue-white-blue unis!
 
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#49
I'm still on the receiver thing. There was a lot of criticism of Bush all season long. But how better he would have been treated had the receivers done their jobs. Yesterday was a perfect example. Bush looked pretty darned good. What an athlete.

Feel bad for Illini at season's end; hope I don't feel this way in 2019. Keep those blue-white-blue unis!
Bush after his benching was definitely more accurate passing. I wonder what his numbers look like if our guys catch the balls that were thrown directly into their hands, that you know, it’s like their job to catch.