Pregame: Illinois at Minnesota, Saturday, October 5th, 2:30pm CT, BTN

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#51
Illinois
Watching football this weekend, Indiana vs MSU and Minnie vs Purdue... I'm afraid we're fighting for 2nd to last or 3rd to last place in the B1G again this year. Might not be the case, but look for Minnie to throw over the freakin middle all day just behind our LB's in the seams. I think Minnie picks our defense apart and puts up numbers. Look for us to run strong but shoot ourselves in the foot. If this does happen the question is then whether or not we're better than Maryland or an injured Purdue. I think everyone else beats up on us in the second, third and fourth quarters. Our offense gets too cute, and our defense plods along with the same easy to read zone and man. I'm not asking for division or conference championships, but could we crawl out of the basement any time soon? Next week is a must win game (not like every game isn't). If they stumble look for torches and pitchforks among the entirety of the fanbase, such as it is. Outlook is gloomy with a 66% chance of doom. Minnie 38 ILL 24 in a game that isn't as close as the score.
 
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#52
I disagree. I think Minnesota is gonna be tougher than I hoped, but I think I see 4 more wins plus 1 or 2 potentials.

The biggest key though is shooting ourselves in the foot. If we play to our strengths, I can see 4-4 or 5-3 to finish the season. It’s just frustrating because we all know we’ll go 1-7.

Not to mention we should by all rights be 4-0 already...
 
#53
I disagree. I think Minnesota is gonna be tougher than I hoped, but I think I see 4 more wins plus 1 or 2 potentials.

The biggest key though is shooting ourselves in the foot. If we play to our strengths, I can see 4-4 or 5-3 to finish the season. It’s just frustrating because we all know we’ll go 1-7.

Not to mention we should by all rights be 4-0 already...
I prefer reading optimistic, enthusiastic posts like yours, but imo I think we're more likely to win 0 than 5 of our remaining games. We cannot stop anyone. 700 yards. Etc. Etc.
 
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#54
Forgottonia
I’m feeling worse about this game all the time. To see what a good team does against Nebraska, UConn getting pasted, Akron may well be the worst team in the country, sheesh. I hope the team and coaches are all at the Smith center watching this Nebraska-OSU game tonight.
 
#56
It’s pretty disheartening to watch the teams we’ve already played flounder and look terrible, knowing how tough those games were for us.

Watching Minny take down Purdue cements to me that the chances of beating them on the road are slim to none, and none just boarded the midnight bus to Nowheresville.

And on top of that, the big picture outlook says that this year could have totally been the one to break out, because the West is totally doable for a solid team in year four of a rebuild and our crossover games are really favorable too. Decent coaching and this team ends up with 8 or 9 wins with that schedule. I can’t see us ending with more than 4.
 
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#58
I've stuck around so long hoping for some sign of evolution from this staff & team, but there hasn't been a single one.

Hoping the best for the guys, but this will be a record and watch if it's close. I'm not sure how much longer the team can sustain being stomped without rolling over. Most fans (me included) already have.
I don't know about that. Now, I can't predict the future, but we've been in every game, so far, and last week got four turnovers, which is a staple of the Lovie defense. Can't say the games haven't been exciting...they have. You can't say recruiting hasn't picked up....it has.

What he took over was not just a hot mess, it was ablaze. Add in the fact that he lost his best pass rusher(Roundtree) due to a spinal injury and what probably would have been his best corner(Beason) to a knee injury....this has been ok.

It's been slow, but you can't deny that there has been progress.

The bigger reality is that the school is not going to eat his buyout and hire another coach this year. In my opinion, we just have to accept that. He's going to be here, whether it be 3, 4, 5 or 6 wins this year.

Also, if they were to cut the check, what guarantees do you have that the 4th coach in 10 years is going to win? At first, it will set the program back another three years after you account for all the transfers, him wanting to hire HIS staff, which will directly effect recruiting(especially St. Louis)....then it will take time to install his system with the type of players that fit his system.

Let's see this through and see where it takes us. I know we all want to win, we all want to be 4-0(1-0) right now....but thinking about it, we're two drives from being exactly that.
 
#59
Forgottonia
I don't know about that. Now, I can't predict the future, but we've been in every game, so far, and last week got four turnovers, which is a staple of the Lovie defense. Can't say the games haven't been exciting...they have. You can't say recruiting hasn't picked up....it has.

What he took over was not just a hot mess, it was ablaze. Add in the fact that he lost his best pass rusher(Roundtree) due to a spinal injury and what probably would have been his best corner(Beason) to a knee injury....this has been ok.

It's been slow, but you can't deny that there has been progress.

The bigger reality is that the school is not going to eat his buyout and hire another coach this year. In my opinion, we just have to accept that. He's going to be here, whether it be 3, 4, 5 or 6 wins this year.

Also, if they were to cut the check, what guarantees do you have that the 4th coach in 10 years is going to win? At first, it will set the program back another three years after you account for all the transfers, him wanting to hire HIS staff, which will directly effect recruiting(especially St. Louis)....then it will take time to install his system with the type of players that fit his system.

Let's see this through and see where it takes us. I know we all want to win, we all want to be 4-0(1-0) right now....but thinking about it, we're two drives from being exactly that.
Appreciate the optimism, but 674 yards given up to what we now know is a very mediocre Nebraska team doesn’t feel like progress. Watching Ohio State play shows how inferior we are. And I don’t mean just on talent, but on guys just knowing and understanding the defensive scheme. They were always in the right place at the right time. Of course physically we can’t match them, but I don’t believe we are running a defense that allows the players we have to succeed. That is 100% on Lovie. That alone is my biggest problem with keeping him. He has shown no ability or interest in recognizing that fact and correcting it. There is absolutely no reason we shouldn't be an average defense with the players we have. If we were, we would be 4-0 with a good shot at beating Minnesota.
 
#60
Austin, TX
I don't know about that. Now, I can't predict the future, but we've been in every game, so far, and last week got four turnovers, which is a staple of the Lovie defense. Can't say the games haven't been exciting...they have. You can't say recruiting hasn't picked up....it has.

What he took over was not just a hot mess, it was ablaze. Add in the fact that he lost his best pass rusher(Roundtree) due to a spinal injury and what probably would have been his best corner(Beason) to a knee injury....this has been ok.

It's been slow, but you can't deny that there has been progress.

The bigger reality is that the school is not going to eat his buyout and hire another coach this year. In my opinion, we just have to accept that. He's going to be here, whether it be 3, 4, 5 or 6 wins this year.

Also, if they were to cut the check, what guarantees do you have that the 4th coach in 10 years is going to win? At first, it will set the program back another three years after you account for all the transfers, him wanting to hire HIS staff, which will directly effect recruiting(especially St. Louis)....then it will take time to install his system with the type of players that fit his system.

Let's see this through and see where it takes us. I know we all want to win, we all want to be 4-0(1-0) right now....but thinking about it, we're two drives from being exactly that.
IMHO, the least they can do is bring in good coaches. IF the talent level has gone up, then given we win (that is the std by which we seem to measure things) the same number, it has got to be the coaching.

* penalties
* 600+ yds on D
* O seems to be OK, can get better

Change that in year 5, please.

Besides that, the issue, IMHO, is not that we have improved, but we should be even better than what we are. 4-0.
 
#61
It's been slow, but you can't deny that there has been progress.
Progress from 2017, no question. We were better in 2018 than 2017 and we've been better in 2019 than 2018.

But then why were we so unfathomably awful in 2017? Worse by some margin than the two previous reference points for advanced stats-era Illini ineptitude (Zook's first year and Beckman's first year).

Well, we were executing a plan. The plan was to intentionally undergo a youth movement, get our kids a ton of experience playing together and in the same system, and to build up from there. How's the plan gone? Well, we've kicked a number of the most talented and promising kids in that group off the team (Williams, Dorsey, Boyd), fired both coordinators, installed an entirely different offense and covered up a bunch of those guys with grad transfers, who make up most of the best guys we have.

The whole thing was a waste, in the end.

And how much progress have we made? Remains to be seen I guess, but on the evidence so far, progress though we've made, we're still nowhere near as good as the Cubit interim year, despite the fact that we've got an old and experienced roster that represents the culmination of a roster-building process. We're at the summit, and we're still nowhere near what the summit was for Tim Freakin' Beckman.

Also, if they were to cut the check, what guarantees do you have that the 4th coach in 10 years is going to win? At first, it will set the program back another three years after you account for all the transfers, him wanting to hire HIS staff, which will directly effect recruiting(especially St. Louis)....then it will take time to install his system with the type of players that fit his system.
And the fact that year 4 of Lovie looks so much worse than quasi-year 4 for Beckman under Cubit really drives home the folly of this point. Set the program back from what? We've taken a couple of baby steps from the absolute bottom of a well that Lovie threw us down on purpose, to no particular gain.

The bigger reality is that the school is not going to eat his buyout and hire another coach this year. In my opinion, we just have to accept that. He's going to be here, whether it be 3, 4, 5 or 6 wins this year.
And ultimately, this piece and the other piece are intimately related. This is just an attitude toward what Illinois football is, and what firing a coach is, not really an analysis of the particular situation. And that's not really something you can argue against with facts.
 
#62
I'd feel a lot better about this game if we could stop teams on D, but the last 2 years and the last 2 games have proven otherwise. The offense has shown improvement since Smith was hired, though 78 yds. passing last week is a concern. If your gonna play IW next year then start playing him,now. If your gonna play Peter's next year, okay. Special teams have been good. I didn't think this was the year to win 6 games i think next year is and i'd give him one more year, but my vote doesn't count.
 
#69
This is the most important game of Lovie's tenure here. He was blessed with two weeks to prepare for it. Will he continue to be stubborn defensively or make the necessary adjustments?

A loss will surely result in a 3 or 4 win season and his removal.

A win gives us fools gold and keeps his Illini career and this season alive at least until the Northwestern finale where he may be playing for the mediocre win #5 that keeps him here one more season. :hurl:
 
#70
This is the most important game of Lovie's tenure here. He was blessed with two weeks to prepare for it. Will he continue to be stubborn defensively or make the necessary adjustments?
This is my biggest concern. I worry that in Lovie's mind it isn't an issue of scheme. It's like everybody is telling him that the sun isn't going to rise in the east tomorrow morning. His defense has always worked, so the issue isn't his scheme it's the missed tackles or individual breakdowns.

Maybe that's not fair, but he's shown no inclination toward doing anything different (that I've noticed).
 
#71
This is a game Lovie must win 2 weeks to prepare for this moment he wins this game the heat cools down and the season still looks promising. We been close and have played hard now we have to WIN
 
#72
Western Suburbs
A watch party for the 10/5 Gopher game has been set up at The Red Barn in Mount Prospect. They will have a $4 20oz Coors Light special along with other food specials. We will have the entire top floor to ourselves with the sound playing during the game.
 
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#73
This is the most important game of Lovie's tenure here. He was blessed with two weeks to prepare for it. Will he continue to be stubborn defensively or make the necessary adjustments?

A loss will surely result in a 3 or 4 win season and his removal.

A win gives us fools gold and keeps his Illini career and this season alive at least until the Northwestern finale where he may be playing for the mediocre win #5 that keeps him here one more season. :hurl:
Agreed. If we get trucked, I hope Whitman leaves Lovie in Minnesota, fire him after the game. Make him pay his own way home.
 
#74
Minnesota's QB stats from Purdue game have me worried. But they didn't beat the Boilermakers by much and Purdue lost its starting QB and Rondale. Gives me hope the Illini offense can put up big numbers. Now can the D make some stops?
 
#75
Aurora, IL
And the fact that year 4 of Lovie looks so much worse than quasi-year 4 for Beckman under Cubit really drives home the folly of this point. Set the program back from what? We've taken a couple of baby steps from the absolute bottom of a well that Lovie threw us down on purpose, to no particular gain.
This is the most depressing part of the whole thing. Lovie intentionally "started over" and dropped the program so low with the message that when we got back to the top, the peak would be higher. So far, it's not.
 
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