Pregame: Illinois vs Rutgers, Saturday, November 2nd, 2:30pm CT, BTN

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That Minny game was the one where Zook had some of the worst clock management perhaps in football history at the end of the game. Minn was driving for either a field goal to tie or TD to take lead. Illini had all 3 timeouts left. Once Minny hit the 25 or so it was time to start using some TO's knowing the game is most likely tied at best (if not behind) when you get the ball back. Alas, the ole Zooker did not use any timeouts & Minny scored a TD with 30 seconds or so left to take the lead.
Just a disaster in game management.
I was at that game sitting behind the Minny bench - a few of their players were acting like they won the Super Bowl. Brewster had already been fired I believe. Pretty much knew at this time that Zook was toast.
 
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I was at that game sitting behind the Minny bench - a few of their players were acting like they won the Super Bowl. Brewster had already been fired I believe. Pretty much knew at this time that Zook was toast.
Unfortunately, while the records of 2010 and 2011 would be great to have again, the move by Guenther to keep Zook and force him to hire new coordinators was just glossing over the bigger problems. That set us back a few years due to his poor recruiting at the tail end. I'm curious who would have been available to pick up after the 2009 season, though.
 
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I was at that game sitting behind the Minny bench - a few of their players were acting like they won the Super Bowl. Brewster had already been fired I believe. Pretty much knew at this time that Zook was toast.
What is Brewster doing now?
 
I usually Google this sort of thing myself, but don't have time. What is going on with Rutgers' roster? I thought after Ash got canned, there were a number of players, and good ones, who entered the transfer portal which allowed them to count this year as a redshirt. (Maybe there were only two players. I don't know.) Anyway, I was surprised they beat Liberty. Any able to provide a quick rundown?
 
I usually Google this sort of thing myself, but don't have time. What is going on with Rutgers' roster? I thought after Ash got canned, there were a number of players, and good ones, who entered the transfer portal which allowed them to count this year as a redshirt. (Maybe there were only two players. I don't know.) Anyway, I was surprised they beat Liberty. Any able to provide a quick rundown?
The kid Sitkoswki, pretty much the best recruit Ash pulled in during his tenure, asked to be shut down after 4 games to preserve a redshirt.

Not an overly surprising home win, Liberty is a bad football team with little no real talent. 4 of their 5 wins are against Maine, Hampton, New Mexico and arguably the worst FBS program alive (Sorry Akron/UConn), New Mexico State. Liberty is a bad football team.
 
Plainfield
One last comment on that brutal Zook season where we lost 66-65 to Michigan - the defenses obviously weren’t stopping anything that day and late in the game with the lead and I believe past the 50 yard line Zook chose to give up the ball and punt on a 4 th and short. Keep the ball and you might have gone up by two scores. He would make these kind of head scratching decisions all the time. I liked him but this was his downfall - lost too many games due to his brain stopping during games.
 
Naperville
I usually Google this sort of thing myself, but don't have time. What is going on with Rutgers' roster? I thought after Ash got canned, there were a number of players, and good ones, who entered the transfer portal which allowed them to count this year as a redshirt. (Maybe there were only two players. I don't know.) Anyway, I was surprised they beat Liberty. Any able to provide a quick rundown?
Their #1 QB (Carter) retired and their #2 QB (Sitkowski) is voluntarily sitting out the rest of the season so that he can redshirt.

Wayne Blackshear is also sitting out the rest of the season so he can redshirt and possibly transfer. He hasn't played in a month and he is still their leading receiver.

Langan is the last QB standing. He's a transfer from Boston College and was surprisingly granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA before the season started. He's originally from New Jersey and the current HC (Nunzio Campanile) was his HC in High School at Bergen Catholic. He was 5th or 6th on the depth chart at BC when he transferred and didn't really participate in camp practices as he was not expected to play this year.

The roster isn't as much of an issue as the fact that they fired their OC in addition to the HC. This means that Nunzio is essentially the interim HC and OC. Nunzio decided to scrap McNulty's offense and go with his own offense which is more of a spread offense. This means that they are trying to learn a new offense in the middle of the season. The results have been predictable.

Imagine if Lovie and Rod Smith were fired after the Nebraska game and Cory Patterson was named the interim coach. That's essentially what happened at Rutgers. They have punted on the rest of the season.

Given the above it's kind of amazing that they were able to pull together and get a victory last week.

The new offense is a spread offense which we have had trouble stopping under Lovie. However, the talent gap between Illinois and Rutgers is surprisingly large this season.

The only guys worth keeping an eye on for Rutgers on the offensive side of the ball, besides Langan, are Isaih Pacheco, Bo Melton and Kamaal Seymour.

Pacheco is 6th in the conference in rushing yards but most of his production came against UMass and Liberty. Bo Melton is a former 4 Star WR who had 6 catches in the game against us last year but he hasn't had a great season.
 
Their #1 QB (Carter) retired and their #2 QB (Sitkowski) is voluntarily sitting out the rest of the season so that he can redshirt.

Wayne Blackshear is also sitting out the rest of the season so he can redshirt and possibly transfer. He hasn't played in a month and he is still their leading receiver.

Langan is the last QB standing. He's a transfer from Boston College and was surprisingly granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA before the season started. He's originally from New Jersey and the current HC (Nunzio Campanile) was his HC in High School at Bergen Catholic. He was 5th or 6th on the depth chart at BC when he transferred and didn't really participate in camp practices as he was not expected to play this year.

The roster isn't as much of an issue as the fact that they fired their OC in addition to the HC. This means that Nunzio is essentially the interim HC and OC. Nunzio decided to scrap McNulty's offense and go with his own offense which is more of a spread offense. This means that they are trying to learn a new offense in the middle of the season. The results have been predictable.

Imagine if Lovie and Rod Smith were fired after the Nebraska game and Cory Patterson was named the interim coach. That's essentially what happened at Rutgers. They have punted on the rest of the season.

Given the above it's kind of amazing that they were able to pull together and get a victory last week.

The new offense is a spread offense which we have had trouble stopping under Lovie. However, the talent gap between Illinois and Rutgers is surprisingly large this season.

The only guys worth keeping an eye on for Rutgers on the offensive side of the ball, besides Langan, are Isaih Pacheco, Bo Melton and Kamaal Seymour.

Pacheco is 6th in the conference in rushing yards but most of his production came against UMass and Liberty. Bo Melton is a former 4 Star WR who had 6 catches in the game against us last year but he hasn't had a great season.
Thank you! I thought there was more to the story. What are people worried about?

Who's hosting the bowl clinching party during the Michigan State game next week?
 
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if we win out and end up 8-4 IDK what I’d do. I’ve only been a real fan since Fall 2009 and the best regular season I’ve seen is 6-6. I’d literally be screaming. If we win out and make it to Indy (unlikely, I know) I am at that game. If we somehow overcome Ohio State, I demand we be sacrificed to Alabama in the semi finals lol.
 
Old Man Club
if we win out and end up 8-4 IDK what I’d do. I’ve only been a real fan since Fall 2009 and the best regular season I’ve seen is 6-6. I’d literally be screaming. If we win out and make it to Indy (unlikely, I know) I am at that game. If we somehow overcome Ohio State, I demand we be sacrificed to Alabama in the semi finals lol.
You, are exactly what this fan base needs. I'm a life long fan, with season tickets only so i can torture my kids and also my grand kids. But, they all know that we are just around the corner from taking care of business. Keep up the faith, and from 60 years of experience, when the good times come, they are worth it!!
 
They have done it Tess!
Wildwood
The kid Sitkoswki, pretty much the best recruit Ash pulled in during his tenure, asked to be shut down after 4 games to preserve a redshirt.

Not an overly surprising home win, Liberty is a bad football team with little no real talent. 4 of their 5 wins are against Maine, Hampton, New Mexico and arguably the worst FBS program alive (Sorry Akron/UConn), New Mexico State. Liberty is a bad football team.
Any relation to Tom Smykowski?

 
Normal, Illinois
To veer off course a bit: Thanks to the posters who provided free parking suggestions, and I have another question: Does Memorial Stadium's open bag policy allow people to bring in their own stadium chairs (like the one here)? May sound like a ridiculous question, but last year I wasn't allowed to bring mine into an Illinois State football game because their open bag policy prohibits it.
 
To veer off course a bit: Thanks to the posters who provided free parking suggestions, and I have another question: Does Memorial Stadium's open bag policy allow people to bring in their own stadium chairs (like the one here)? May sound like a ridiculous question, but last year I wasn't allowed to bring mine into an Illinois State football game because their open bag policy prohibits it.
Website says this:

Personal Seatbacks and Seat Cushions
Personal seatbacks and seat cushions brought into Memorial Stadium should be 9” x 16” or smaller in size.
https://fightingillini.com/sports/2015/7/31/football_gamedayguide.aspx

Our experience has been that it depends on the gate attendant. We used to have some that were slightly wider that this and the guy on the east gate wouldn't let me past. I bargained with him a couple of times and he finally relented, but he was pretty serious about it. We have smaller ones now and they are no problem.
 
One last comment on that brutal Zook season where we lost 66-65 to Michigan - the defenses obviously weren’t stopping anything that day and late in the game with the lead and I believe past the 50 yard line Zook chose to give up the ball and punt on a 4 th and short. Keep the ball and you might have gone up by two scores. He would make these kind of head scratching decisions all the time. I liked him but this was his downfall - lost too many games due to his brain stopping during games.
In the same game, he elected to attempt a field goal on a 4th & inches from like the 20. Just a total lack of situational awareness. Both teams were in the 40's or so at the time in the 3rd. Nobody was making a stop & they should have gone for it. Field goals weren't getting the job done that day.
 
South Carolina
At what point is it safe to say the Tim Beckman curse has been lifted?
 
When Bruce Weber holds a funeral for him.
As much as I respect Coach Weber, that was really a cornball thing to do after Self's departure. Ick! Certainly not my style or yours, I'm sure.

Hang in there with Lovie who, I hope, will have the Fightings ready to beat Rutgers!

My prediction: 42-10 ... ILLINI!

But Rutgers is gonna be prepared. Be ready, Illini.
 
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Because Rutgers is gonna play all-out. Nothing to lose, really, for Rutgers - but a lot to lose for Illinois. May the best tessm win!
 
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