Pregame: Illinois at Michigan State, Saturday, November 9th, 2:30pm CT, FS1

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Where are we at injury wise with Betiku, Smalling, and Woods? To me Smalling makes us a much more balanced offense opposite of BeBe
 
He’s not but even if he were, why would you want him getting touches? That wouldn’t benefit him or us, especially in a must win game.
Speed, change of pace from a Brandon Peters....spark for otherwise stagnant offense against a solid defense (even without some of its stars). A FEW touches......i'm not saying put him in situations where he can't possibly have some success and not asking to pound away with him. You think we are going to red shirt him?

I'm anticipating we run into a wall up the middle (hope not). He may offer some cut-back / outside speed that seems to be eluding Corbin this year.
 
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Speed, change of pace from a Brandon Peters....spark for otherwise stagnant offense against a solid defense (even without some of its stars). A FEW touches......i'm not saying put him in situations where he can't possibly have some success and not asking to pound away with him. You think we are going to red shirt him?
He won’t provide a spark if he’s hit for a loss, which he will be. The minute he enters the game, everyone and their dog will know the play call. Think back to the Nebraska game. The minute he checked in their safeties bit down and the poor kid ran twice for negative 3 or 4 yards. He went back to the bench having learned nothing. And we lost the game.

Yes. He needs to redshirt. Dude said it a while back, he needs the film room and the weight room. That should be his only focus.
 
Speed, change of pace from a Brandon Peters....spark for otherwise stagnant offense against a solid defense (even without some of its stars). A FEW touches......i'm not saying put him in situations where he can't possibly have some success and not asking to pound away with him. You think we are going to red shirt him?

I'm anticipating we run into a wall up the middle (hope not). He may offer some cut-back / outside speed that seems to be eluding Corbin this year.
I don't agree with the change of pace strategy, but if Rod did, IWill wouldn't be the play. Matt Robinson is by far the number 2 QB. Hell I would rather see Coran at this point
 
I'm letting my offensive frustrations take over and turn to desperation - clearly not thinking straight. Struggling with understanding how we've taken such a step back - don't believe one OL leaving can make such a difference (especially, since we had a pretty good transfer coming in). And AJ had legs and size, but was a bottom quartile B10 QB - we still have a QB that can use his legs when plays are designed for that - maybe it's the toughness (YAC) at that position that we are missing most? Or are we missing AJ's ability to extend plays and not take as many losses? Or was AJ just that much better of a decision maker?

I mean imagine how good we'd be if we had last year's offense and this year's (last 4 games anyways) defense?
 
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I'm letting my offensive frustrations take over and turn to desperation - clearly not thinking straight. Struggling with understanding how we've taken such a step back - don't believe one OL leaving can make such a difference (especially, since we had a pretty good transfer coming in). And AJ had legs and size, but was a bottom quartile B10 QB - we still have a QB that can use his legs when plays are designed for that - maybe it's the toughness (YAC) at that position that we are missing most? Or are we missing AJ's ability to extend plays and not take as many losses? Or was AJ just that much better of a decision maker?

I mean imagine how good we'd be if we had last year's offense and this year's (last 4 games anyways) defense?
huh? Did I read correctly that you think last year's offense was better than this year's? Huh?!?!

The only thing that was better was the RR option.....yes, not the run PASS option...but the run or run option. AJ was elite as a runner. Peters is athletic enough, but AJ would've easily taken that run to the house without the safety even coming close to catching up during that long run peters had last weekend. That's the difference and why Corbit had so much success. The offense is definitely better this year and is more balanced with pass being a real option now. If you replaced this year's offense with last year's and you had them match-up and play all the same opponents this year, you're not winning the same game or putting up the same amount of offensive points. The only game where you probably would've done better was the Purdue game and we already won that game...so no change to the final stat line. It wouldn't have helped out in the Nebraska game because the defense was so bad. Which games do you think we would've won with last year's offense that we lost with this year? Eastern Michigan...maybe....but that offense wouldn't have won against Wisconsin.

I'm just rambling at this point...
 
huh? Did I read correctly that you think last year's offense was better than this year's? Huh?!?!

The only thing that was better was the RR option.....yes, not the run PASS option...but the run or run option. AJ was elite as a runner. Peters is athletic enough, but AJ would've easily taken that run to the house without the safety even coming close to catching up during that long run peters had last weekend. That's the difference and why Corbit had so much success. The offense is definitely better this year and is more balanced with pass being a real option now. If you replaced this year's offense with last year's and you had them match-up and play all the same opponents this year, you're not winning the same game or putting up the same amount of offensive points. The only game where you probably would've done better was the Purdue game and we already won that game...so no change to the final stat line. It wouldn't have helped out in the Nebraska game because the defense was so bad. Which games do you think we would've won with last year's offense that we lost with this year? Eastern Michigan...maybe....but that offense wouldn't have won against Wisconsin.

I'm just rambling at this point...
Stats wise, last year's offense was significantly better. The run game has taken a step down, and the pass game has improved minimally. AJ got significantly better as the year went on with passing; Brandon really hasn't shown much difference from Nebraska or EMU games--just that he is throwing a little less so he isn't having as many bad throws.
 
huh? Did I read correctly that you think last year's offense was better than this year's? Huh?!?!

The only thing that was better was the RR option.....yes, not the run PASS option...but the run or run option. AJ was elite as a runner. Peters is athletic enough, but AJ would've easily taken that run to the house without the safety even coming close to catching up during that long run peters had last weekend. That's the difference and why Corbit had so much success. The offense is definitely better this year and is more balanced with pass being a real option now. If you replaced this year's offense with last year's and you had them match-up and play all the same opponents this year, you're not winning the same game or putting up the same amount of offensive points. The only game where you probably would've done better was the Purdue game and we already won that game...so no change to the final stat line. It wouldn't have helped out in the Nebraska game because the defense was so bad. Which games do you think we would've won with last year's offense that we lost with this year? Eastern Michigan...maybe....but that offense wouldn't have won against Wisconsin.

I'm just rambling at this point...
I will go fact check again, but I think statistically we were better in every single category that matters. Yes, you are right. We have better balance.....running stinks and passing stinks... balance. Taking wayyyy more negative yard plays this year as well. Again, I'll fact check and own up that I'm wrong if that's the case.
 
Carbondale, IL
The offense finished 2018 ranked #70 in the SP+ rankings. As of the Rutgers game they're currently ranked #67.
 
Twangers touched on this a bit, but getting our RBs more involved in the passing game is something I wouldn't be surprised to see this week. Couple weeks of very vanilla passing, so lets spice it up and swing some passes out to the RBs.
Agreed. Our offense has been about exciting as a "lukewarm fart." We need turnovers and more variation and balance in our offense. Our third down conversation rate is 34.9%. If we are faced with mostly third and long situations, I do not see us winning.
 
The offense finished 2018 ranked #70 in the SP+ rankings. As of the Rutgers game they're currently ranked #67.
While that may be, below is what mhuml32 put together in a different thread, which shows our offense lagging behind last year's (note: I don't really care that much as long as we get to 6 wins--I just believe it is defensive improvement combined with minimal regression in the offense that has led to a better year):
Offensive Comparison
Team YPG
2018: 412.2 (54th)
2019: 326.1 (112th) 👇1

Team YPP (yards per play)
2018: 5.9 (40th)
2019: 4.8 (104th) 👆1

Team PPG (plays per game)
2018: 70.3 (79th)
2019: 68.0 (90th) 👇11

Team Rushing YPG
2018: 244.0 (12th)
2019: 163.3 (64th) 👆7

Team Passing YPG
2018: 168.2 (111th)
2019: 162.8 (114th) 👉👈
 
The one big statistic everyone is forgetting is turnovers. We threw something like 15-16 INTs last season. We're currently on pace to throw 6 this season. That type of dramatic swing will sway your SP+ (As it should).
Exactly, last year our offense averaged 2 turnovers a game, and this year we are averaging 1.1 per game. That may not sound like a huge difference, but it is.
 
I'm letting my offensive frustrations take over and turn to desperation - clearly not thinking straight. Struggling with understanding how we've taken such a step back - don't believe one OL leaving can make such a difference (especially, since we had a pretty good transfer coming in). And AJ had legs and size, but was a bottom quartile B10 QB - we still have a QB that can use his legs when plays are designed for that - maybe it's the toughness (YAC) at that position that we are missing most? Or are we missing AJ's ability to extend plays and not take as many losses? Or was AJ just that much better of a decision maker?

I mean imagine how good we'd be if we had last year's offense and this year's (last 4 games anyways) defense?
Bolded: Your heart is in the right place though. You want to solve an offense that is one-dimensional and limping along, I fully understand.
 
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huh? Did I read correctly that you think last year's offense was better than this year's? Huh?!?!

The only thing that was better was the RR option.....yes, not the run PASS option...but the run or run option. AJ was elite as a runner. Peters is athletic enough, but AJ would've easily taken that run to the house without the safety even coming close to catching up during that long run peters had last weekend. That's the difference and why Corbit had so much success. The offense is definitely better this year and is more balanced with pass being a real option now. If you replaced this year's offense with last year's and you had them match-up and play all the same opponents this year, you're not winning the same game or putting up the same amount of offensive points. The only game where you probably would've done better was the Purdue game and we already won that game...so no change to the final stat line. It wouldn't have helped out in the Nebraska game because the defense was so bad. Which games do you think we would've won with last year's offense that we lost with this year? Eastern Michigan...maybe....but that offense wouldn't have won against Wisconsin.

I'm just rambling at this point...
I agree with everything. What gets lost with us on this board is how BAD our WR play was last year. I would LOVE to see what AJ could have done with these WRs
 
South Carolina
I agree with everything. What gets lost with us on this board is how BAD our WR play was last year. I would LOVE to see what AJ could have done with these WRs
There was a massive outbreak of the dropsies last year, nobody could catch. I think part of that was brought on by poor passing by AJ earlier in the season. By the time he improved, the wide receivers had atrophied and we never had good QB and WR play at the same time.
 
Illinois Football
Predictions Update
Nov 3, 2019
After beating Rutgers 38-10 yesterday, Illinois is now projected to finish the regular season 6-6 (4-5 Big Ten).
The odds that the Fighting Illini end the season bowl eligible are up to 68%, an increase of 8% since yesterday.
We currently rank the Fighting Illini as the #11 team in the Big Ten (and #63 team in the country).
Next game: Sat, Nov 9 at #19 Michigan St. Our power ratings give the Fighting Illini a 10% chance to win
MSU at #19?
 
The one big statistic everyone is forgetting is turnovers. We threw something like 15-16 INTs last season. We're currently on pace to throw 6 this season. That type of dramatic swing will sway your SP+ (As it should).
Average total number of passes was 27 a game last year. 25 per game this year, not much difference. So reducing the number of interceptions is an impressive number.
 
BU:1 Trash cans:0
Chicago
MSU at #19?
I just noticed that MSU is in the middle of a brutal stretch of games.

10/5 Road Loss to Ohio St
10/12 Road Loss to Wisconsin
10/26 Home Loss to Penn St
11/9 Hosting us
11/16 On the Road at Michigan

If we pull off the win on Saturday, and they get clobbered by Michigan next week, MSU fans will be deep in the pit.
 
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