Illinois 30, Nebraska 22 Postgame

#226      
He was thrown to the wolves at Rutgers behind an absolute disaster of a offensive line on a team being directed by an absolute disaster of a coaching staff.
 
#230      
I read he was a 4 star
I think I read that, too, when he was at Rutgers. I'm starting to appreciate a player's ranking over star level, and 5 star is explicitly tied to ranking. The 4 star cutoff seems to be in the 370s, IIRC, and he was rated 395. Maybe at one time he was a 4 star.
 
#231      
I read he was a 4 star

He was considered a top 100 recruit early on and was a U of Miami commit at one point (with offers from many other big name schools) early on, before transferring from NJ to IMG academy in Florida for his senior year, where things did not go as hoped (and lead to fall in ratings). Decommitted from Miami, and became one of Rutgers higher ranked commits ever, before being thrown to the wolves there as a freshman.

He has been through some tough times, but seems to have learned from them and hopefully can become one of those high ceiling guys who put it all together relatively late in his career.


Excerpts from 2016 recruiting article:
"Sitkowski is ranked the No. 4 pro-style quarterback and No. 71 overall recruit in the Class of 2018. He told SEC Country he wanted to camp at Florida because of the QB track records of McElwain and Nussmeier. ... Sitkowski already holds offers from more than a dozen schools, including Michigan, Ohio State and South Carolina. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound passer probably could have landed a UF offer without camping, but he wanted to earn it." LINK
 
#232      
He was considered a top 100 recruit early on and was a U of Miami commit at one point (with offers from many other big name schools) early on, before transferring from NJ to IMG academy in Florida for his senior year, where things did not go as hoped (and lead to fall in ratings). Decommitted from Miami, and became one of Rutgers higher ranked commits ever, before being thrown to the wolves there as a freshman.

He has been through some tough times, but seems to have learned from them and hopefully can become one of those high ceiling guys who put it all together relatively late in his career.


Excerpts from 2016 recruiting article:
"Sitkowski is ranked the No. 4 pro-style quarterback and No. 71 overall recruit in the Class of 2018. He told SEC Country he wanted to camp at Florida because of the QB track records of McElwain and Nussmeier. ... Sitkowski already holds offers from more than a dozen schools, including Michigan, Ohio State and South Carolina. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound passer probably could have landed a UF offer without camping, but he wanted to earn it." LINK
Only based on limited time in watching him, but Sitkowski seems to have a bit more overall field awareness and poise than Peters. I can't say how his arm strength and passing accuracy compares. I also like that, like Peters, he is tall with good weight and overall body strength. He also appears to be a little better leader than Peters, vocally and maybe otherwise. But the coaches see something more in Peters, and I certainly trust their judgment on that.
 
#233      
Completely agree. When was the last time we felt that way at the outset? I'm thinking 1988 with Mackovic after we won in Columbus. Was worried about Tepper's ability from the start. Have no recollection of how I felt when Turner began. Was skeptical of Zook's coaching chops. And don't get me started on Lasagna.

No matter. It feels good.
I went to Mack's first game against Wazzou in 1988 and we were absolutely destroyed. Saw his first win when we narrowly beat a Utah team that was still considered a Group of 5 program. At that point I was less than enthusiastic about where he would take the program. Needless to say the beat down we but on tOSU the following weekend in Columbus changed my perspective.

After Tepper's first few games you could see he would be mediocre at best. I still think with some better recruiting decisions (eg Rodgers, Cutler) RT could have had a long career here. I had seen enough of Zook in SEC country to know he was a joke from the outset.
 
#234      
Only based on limited time in watching him, but Sitkowski seems to have a bit more overall field awareness and poise than Peters. I can't say how his arm strength and passing accuracy compares. I also like that, like Peters, he is tall with good weight and overall body strength. He also appears to be a little better leader than Peters, vocally and maybe otherwise. But the coaches see something more in Peters, and I certainly trust their judgment on that.

Peters has considerably better wheels, which makes him a scrambling/running threat.
 
#236      
Peters has considerably better wheels, which makes him a scrambling/running threat.
I don't have any information to counter that - have to assume you are correct. That said, there was one scramble/run for a first down by Sitkowski that showed evidence of excellent pocket awareness and correct timing on when to decide to run. If he can consistently make those types of good decisions, we don't need him to be a great runner.
 
#237      
That was an AWESOME start to the Bielema era! Some thoughts:
- Our special teams are waaaaaaay better than Neb (and probably most opponents)
- Tackling & coverage was good (when was the last time you could say that?)
- We actually looked like the better coached team (when was the last time you could say that?)
- Art did a great job filling in for Peters (it looked like a colloarbone to me), and he moved well in the pocket to avoid the rush. My favorite throws were the one to Deuce and the rolling right pass on the out.
- Williams is dynamic and wouldn't you know ouro get him the ball!
- Not as much action for the TE's as I expected
- The luck factor was on our side. The roughing the passer penalty took an interception away from Neb and was one of the softest I've seen, that punt returner will probably never catch a ball at the 1 again, Martinez missed many wide open receivers with lots of room to run early on
- We actually footballed in this one! Let's keep that up Illini!
It wasn't luck, its called not disciplined. How many times did we have false starts, late hits, missing open receivers and for god sake sideline penalties during Lovie? Luck is when you have a bad snap and the ball falls right into the Nebraska player instead of heading our direction. Nebraska caused the continuation hit on Art. They also taunted which happens to teams that are poorly coached. I think we only had one holding call and I still have not figured out the 5 guys in the backfield call when we only had three guys in the backfield with a guy in motion.
 
#238      
It wasn't luck, its called not disciplined. How many times did we have false starts, late hits, missing open receivers and for god sake sideline penalties during Lovie? Luck is when you have a bad snap and the ball falls right into the Nebraska player instead of heading our direction. Nebraska caused the continuation hit on Art. They also taunted which happens to teams that are poorly coached. I think we only had one holding call and I still have not figured out the 5 guys in the backfield call when we only had three guys in the backfield with a guy in motion.
Yeah, our discipline was great. The lack of dumb penalties was so refreshing. Hopefully, this will be an attribute of Bielema's team.
 
#239      
Chevy Chase, Maryland
I went to Mack's first game against Wazzou in 1988 and we were absolutely destroyed. Saw his first win when we narrowly beat a Utah team that was still considered a Group of 5 program. At that point I was less than enthusiastic about where he would take the program. Needless to say the beat down we but on tOSU the following weekend in Columbus changed my perspective.

After Tepper's first few games you could see he would be mediocre at best. I still think with some better recruiting decisions (eg Rodgers, Cutler) RT could have had a long career here. I had seen enough of Zook in SEC country to know he was a joke from the outset.
The OSU win in '88 and the come-from-behind win in the final minutes over a ranked Indiana team in early November made me believe in Mackovic. I sat behind the Illini bench in Columbus and you could see the guys were bought in and excited. Such a difference form the preceding season. And Jeff George's ridiculous talent was obviously going to yield something big. It was that win over a top-5 USC team on the road the following September in the opener that cemented it. I'll never forget watching Keith Jackson call that fourth quarter rally (from down 13-0 with around 7 mins remaining to a 14-13 win ) at Illini Inn.
 
#240      
I don't have any information to counter that - have to assume you are correct. That said, there was one scramble/run for a first down by Sitkowski that showed evidence of excellent pocket awareness and correct timing on when to decide to run. If he can consistently make those types of good decisions, we don't need him to be a great runner.
That run came on a big 3rd down, too on the first TD drive. Huge momentum play.
Peters >>> Sitkwoski when it comes to running. BP has multiple 20+ yard runs that were either designed plays or scrambles.
 
#241      
Morris, IL
Is it just me, or did someone mess up with the entrance? It felt weird how they took the field. Also I kinda missed the drummers leading the players out of the tunnel! Great game nonetheless!
The drum line always lead the team out of the tunnel with the beat to War Chant and the whole stadium clapping to the beat in unison. We can't do that anymore because it might offend someone.
 
#243      
Champaign
That run came on a big 3rd down, too on the first TD drive. Huge momentum play.
Peters >>> Sitkwoski when it comes to running. BP has multiple 20+ yard runs that were either designed plays or scrambles.

I was really impressed with the way he slide up to avoid the rush on that play. If there wasn't that huge hole to run he could have easily reset and thrown for it. Also a couple plays before he threw an absolute dime on the rollout. That was as pretty a throw as you are going to see on the run and with great mechanics too.
 
#244      
Paducah, Ky
The two monster blunders by nebby on the punt return and the double penalty of thirty yards taking away an interception from them led to 9 points for the Illini.....we won by eight points..........

my point is ........I feel great about the win and all the major improvements in tackling , defense and lack of penalties and coaching in management of the clock and timeouts etc etc ....
But how many more teams this year will play frost-ball and ice their own team......???????

dog03.gif
We be 1-0 for season.....1-0 for B1G.......WOOF WOOF
 
#245      
Cincinnati, OH
The two monster blunders by nebby on the punt return and the double penalty of thirty yards taking away an interception from them led to 9 points for the Illini.....we won by eight points..........

my point is ........I feel great about the win and all the major improvements in tackling , defense and lack of penalties and coaching in management of the clock and timeouts etc etc ....
But how many more teams this year will play frost-ball and ice their own team......???????

This is the name of the game for football in close games. Mistakes cost you wins. Lovie's mantra was built along the belief of creating turnovers to tip the scales. Lots of coaches focus on turnovers as the difference maker. It's easy to pin the issues on Frost but there will be games later this season where we are frustrated with a couple interceptions or penalties (hello first game against Virginia).

These perceptions also cut both ways. Nebraska was fortunate that two of the blown coverages from Illinois were in the red zone (resulted in a touchdown for them or a bad pass that cost them a TD). Navarro's fumble likely wiped points off of the board for Illinois. Nebraska also had a much healthier roster than Illinois (no Armstrong + Hightower likely restricted some passing options, no Slaughter removed a lineman on a day where both teams were swapping out guys because of the heat, lost Peters for 3/4 of the game, lost Hart for the final 1/3 of the game).
 
#250      
This is the name of the game for football in close games. Mistakes cost you wins. Lovie's mantra was built along the belief of creating turnovers to tip the scales. Lots of coaches focus on turnovers as the difference maker. It's easy to pin the issues on Frost but there will be games later this season where we are frustrated with a couple interceptions or penalties (hello first game against Virginia).

These perceptions also cut both ways. Nebraska was fortunate that two of the blown coverages from Illinois were in the red zone (resulted in a touchdown for them or a bad pass that cost them a TD). Navarro's fumble likely wiped points off of the board for Illinois. Nebraska also had a much healthier roster than Illinois (no Armstrong + Hightower likely restricted some passing options, no Slaughter removed a lineman on a day where both teams were swapping out guys because of the heat, lost Peters for 3/4 of the game, lost Hart for the final 1/3 of the game).
These kinds of hindsight analyses are fraught with uncertainty, selectivity and incompleteness. Say, for example, that Nebraska had its interception stand instead of overturned due to their penalties, and then scored. That would likely have altered Illinois' strategy and play calling. Instead, however, after retaining possession and then scoring ourselves, we could afford to be a little more conservative. Who can say what would have happened if this or that would have gone the other way?