Pregame: Illinois vs Penn State, Friday, September 21st, 8:00pm CT, FS1

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#76
Is this official?
Hasn't been officially announced.. but the suspended players are playing. I know that the length of time missed was specified from an already in place Lovie/Whitman/Team rule for that specific infraction. It wasn't a judgement call week by week whether or not the players were playing. They've known since the start it was 3 games.
 
#77

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But if there is one game to go to this year, the penn st game is the choice. At night, high ranked team.
Students will pregame, hopefully go to game, get rowdy, hopefully stay close and stay rowdy, then enough time to go to bars after game.
Wait, why is this the game to attend this year? I couldn't care less about it being at night. To be honest, I wish every game was in the Saturday 2:30 slot. Allows for both lunch and dinner tailgating, and still in bed by 10. And I'm not interested in watching the Illini get their doors blown off (as is the expectation).

The Purdue game is the perfect game this year. Ideal start time, competitive opponent, and the best time of year for football (average high in the mid 60s).
 
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#78
Tyngsborough, MA
Broken record and not here, but if what we saw against USF was our offense not being very vanilla, Smith isn't what he was billed as.
Rivers is still a freshman, so that is the limiting factor, not Rod Smith. Also, being not vanilla applies to the defense as well as the offense, and I saw a lot to like there, although the talent was limited with the suspensions and injuries and it was the defense that lost the game on one horrible play.

I get what you are saying, but I'm guessing we open up even more if Bush is the QB vs Penn State. If it is Rivers, we try to open up more, but not as much as if Bush is QB.

You seem to raise a good point though. We can open up the offense but it is a brand new playbook so how much can Smith open it up in his first year? A bit each game gets us to a point where I think we can beat Rutgers, Purdue, and some others. So, it seems to be an incremental thing, not a complete opening up of the playbook, but adding more to the game plan each week. Perhaps there is another way to say this, but I'm missing it right now because I need to get back to doing some business.

Anyway, thanks for the nice reply. Good Stuff.
 
#79
Hard game to handicap. Penn St has the talent to hang a 56-0 or 63-20 game on us with ease. However, we return 5 key contributors from last year who all have ability to contribute in a big way. I'll probably not play this game but 28.5 is a lot of points with OSU looming next week and likely a fired up bunch of Illini finally at near full strength
 
#80
Peoria via Denver via Ann Arbor via Albuquerque vi
Broken record and what not here, but if what we saw against USF was our offense not being very vanilla, Smith isn't what he was billed as. As good as the box score says the scores were, we were very much hanging by a thread the entire game. Two missed field goals, turnover on downs, and a lucky interception shouldn't be totally discounted, but they could've easily had 9-21 more points in the first half. Conversely, we had maybe one opportunity of equal magnitude slip through our hands (literally) with a fumble inside their 30.

Sure, we ran a jet sweep or two (not sure we actually handed it off to them) and we ran a wildcat play, but other than that RB screens and crossing routes aren't what I consider electric. Now, the real question is, how non-vanilla can this offense realistically be? I liked a lot of the things they were doing. Those screens were moderately effective at times--and USC knew they were getting them. Protection issues limit route trees immensely. Our RB core is by far our offensive strength. Corbin and Epstein are two guys who need to be out there constantly. Bonner is a good change of pace, kinda in the opposite theory NFL teams use smaller guys. I liked the RB usage on Saturday. Game script aside, Bonner getting more rushes than the other two is laughable. I don't care if he's always good for at least 2/3 yards.

Passing wise, well like I said, protection just wont be what we need to be creative there. Hopefully, Green and Dorsey can ease some of the drop troubles. Smalling is fantastic, but we need more. Against teams like PSU, our passing game is going to suffer mightily, even against a bad USF pass def, we struggled the entire game to get more than 5/6 yard completions.
It is really, really, really hard to review the game against USF and not come away with the conclusion that Charlie Strong was thoroughly out-coached by Lovie. I was as wound up as anyone after the game, spent the rest of the evening muttering to myself about some of the decisions made on the final drive. That said, 90% of the game was spent thinking that Lovie was vastly out-scheming Strong. Personal opinion, but this was a game where we aren't even close to this final score without a competent head coach... now he has to validate the beginning signs of transition with continued player development and recruiting gains. Still questions to be answered, but really difficult to walk away from the last game feeling worse about our head coaching situation.

Wait, why is this the game to attend this year? I couldn't care less about it being at night. To be honest, I wish every game was in the Saturday 2:30 slot. Allows for both lunch and dinner tailgating, and still in bed by 10. And I'm not interested in watching the Illini get their doors blown off (as is the expectation).

The Purdue game is the perfect game this year. Ideal start time, competitive opponent, and the best time of year for football (average high in the mid 60s).
There are three games on the DFS slate for tomorrow. Illinois is one of them. Additional eyes are going to be on this game. Any night game will get a few extra eyeballs, but this is a FANTASTIC opportunity to showcase that we aren't a joke of a P5 program. We need to keep the score in the realm of competitiveness. There is absolutely no reason to not be amped up from a player or fan perspective for a Friday night game on National television. ONE TIME, LET'S DO THIS!

The objective to tomorrow's game is clear... keep it INTERESTING. Don't be down 4 TDs at half. Don't make people change the channel before the 3rd quarter ends. LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
 
#81
Geneseo, IL
While I don't think there is a very good chance of an Illini win, I'm one of those who believe anything can happen when two teams strap it up. But this will be a good test for one thing a lot of us wanted to see improvement in this season which is remaining competitive in games against better opponents. If the Illini can hang in the game until the end it will be a sign of the program improving. If they get road graded against another conference team at home then it will look like more of the same.
 
#84
This will be like the Iowa game last year, hang around all game and then in the 4th the bottom falls out. PSU 38-20
 
#90
Brutal uniform combo
O/B/O for all home games except Gray Ghost for homecoming and all-orange for one big night game has been our procedure all three years of Lovie.

Which makes sense. I've had my fill of the Gray Ghosts and I'd go blue pants with the orange, but I don't object to having a set schedule.
 
#92
20180920_193327.jpg


There are no doubled up 18's on the football roster. Who is this guy?
 
#94
Chicago
O/B/O for all home games except Gray Ghost for homecoming and all-orange for one big night game has been our procedure all three years of Lovie.

Which makes sense. I've had my fill of the Gray Ghosts and I'd go blue pants with the orange, but I don't object to having a set schedule.
Yeah I agree that they have a schedule. I just think with the new uniforms the orange jerseys should be worn with blue pants. Looks much better.
 
#96
Little Rock, Arkansas
I’ll wait to see these uniforms on tv before I judge. I’ve always had a thing for the all orange look so I’m not hating on it quite yet.

Also, maybe we want to preserve the OBO home win streak?
 
Time for irrational pregame hope! Up in the land of the Badgers right now, and the Brew Crew plays around 6:00 ... hoping I can find a bar that will give me a pity TV in the corner or something.
 
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