Penn State 30, Illinois 13 Postgame

#151      
One side question: how much of the current offense is "pure Lunney" and how of it is Bielema influenced either indirectly (based on current personnel and recruits most available for the staff like instate guys) or directly (eg must have power running game)?

Lunney has made I’d say 95% of the decisions on Offense so far this year … Bret really dialed in on the defense this week (and I think everyone can agree that showed) … Lunney isn’t responsible for 4 picks … But we’ve got to protect Luke … And give him better opportunities to succeed …

Getting Feagin, and Elzy more tick is 100% Bret telling Lunney to get them involved … Bret wants to see those guys from now on …
 
#152      
Lots being discussed here. My take: Our offensive line is our weak point. This is our biggest issue. The defense played well enough to beat the inflated 7th ranked Pedos.

Luke’s 4 picks cost us the game but that is very unlikely to ever happen again.

So let’s rip off a bunch of wins against the Big Ten Less.

I have to agree … And it has to go get fixed … These are ALL Bret’s guys … No excuses … Bret knows he need to get this 💩 fixed … When we lost Jones to Auburn … I don’t think we realized how much that would sting …

There’s a reason we prioritized OL on the trail in 2024 … And we are actively after JUCO guys …
 
#154      
I have to agree … And it has to go get fixed … These are ALL Bret’s guys … No excuses … Bret knows he need to get this 💩 fixed … When we lost Jones to Auburn … I don’t think we realized how much that would sting …

There’s a reason we prioritized OL on the trail in 2024 … And we are actively after JUCO guys …
I agree our oline has issues but they gave Luke some time to make some big plays and he had some bad underthrown or inaccurate passes. If he hits Washington in stride instead of that interception that was behind him, the game would have been much more competitive. Lots to clean up on the oline.
 
#155      
I wish … Can’t afford him …

His buyout is nuts (I think it’s something like 3 million) … He’s getting 1.4 million a year … And he’d probably want more than that to come here …
As a fan this is a disappointing answer regarding affordability. He has history with Bielema at Wisconsin, and Illini will be getting $40 million more per year than Utah from TV. Lunney makes $800k+ and if it takes $1.8 million to lure a guy like Ludwig then that’s the kind of splash hire that will jolt recruiting and pay for itself in results.
 
#157      
I have to agree … And it has to go get fixed … These are ALL Bret’s guys … No excuses … Bret knows he need to get this 💩 fixed … When we lost Jones to Auburn … I don’t think we realized how much that would sting …

There’s a reason we prioritized OL on the trail in 2024 … And we are actively after JUCO guys …
Didn't we recruit Jones specifically because Kreutz wasn't ready to be a Big 10 center? Then we all convince ourselves it'll be fine over the summer just because we don't have anybody better on the roster.

Feel like the same equation is about to play out across the street.
 
#158      
After watching the game, a few notes:

1. Our defense was quite good and there was a night and day difference from Kansas and Toledo. Great aggressiveness, outstanding push, tight coverage with Newton being the best player on the field. This was the defense we expected to start the season.

2. Matthew Bailey was a big difference maker, especially with respect to run support. We need him healthy and to stay on the field, as he covers a lot of the defensive issues from the LBs we saw in the first 2 weeks

3. The Scotts are only sophomores. They were good and they're only going to get better.

4. Reggie Love needs to get more touches. He's been solid for us, averaging over 5yds a carry with what has been a subpar line in front of him. He's our #1 RB and yet he's only getting 11 touches per game. Lunney has to get him more involved.

5. Josh McCray. Not sure what to say at this point. It seems that opposing defenses are keying in on him and just shooting the gaps whenever he gets the ball like they know the play call before the snap. He shouldn't be blamed too much for that fumble as you don't expect to be immediately drilled by an unblocked defender after the handoff. At the same time though, he's showed no burst, no elusiveness, and limited power any time he's been on the field. It's getting difficult to continue running him out there. Sadly, it seems his injuries might just be too much to overcome for him.

6. The O-line. Honestly, when you consider PSU has one of the best D-lines in the country, they actually performed better than they did in their first 2 games. That said, it was still quite bad, and not only are they giving Altmyer no time to throw out there, the free unimpeded lanes they're giving up are allowing opponents to just tee up on him. Something needs to be done before Luke leaves the field on a stretcher.

7. Pat Bryant- Really poor last 2 games. Coming off of a great game against Toledo, these past 2 games have been sloppy. He needs to be better because...

8. Elzy is the real deal. He's good. Really good.

And finally, and maybe most controversially,

9. Luke Altmyer. He had an awful game and made some even worse throws, however, I actually don't think his game was as bad as it looked. While I'll get to his struggles soon, he once again was very good with his quick timing routes. He is outstanding at throwing slants and his decisions off of 1 and 3 step timing is very sharp, very accurate, and usually the correct decision. When Lunney has called these plays, Luke has been surgical all season including against PSU. But where Luke has struggled, it's when he's been forced to improvise or wait for longer routes to develop. First, his line isn't giving him the time needed to allow those late developing plays, so as soon as he feels the inevitable pressure, he rushes the throw without seeing the full coverage. As well, when he's forced out of the pocket, he almost needs to tuck the ball and run, or just throw it away, as he is trying too hard to make the great play or perfect pass that just isn't there. Really Lunney needs to start calling more plays that cater to what the offense is capable of. Call more runs, call more slants and 1 to 3 step timing plays, if there's blitz recognition, call screens or shovel passes. Luke is a really good quarterback- he just needs some help from the OC right now as his line just isn't capable of giving him much.

Overall, this was a much better game. Gives me hope we can still win the West as the West absolutely stinks. As in historically stinks. There is not a game left on this schedule we can't win (@Maryland is our toughest left imo). Play smarter with some better play calling and we can do it
 
#159      
Luke under threw a few balls. I don’t think it was due to lack of arm strength, but had he put more air under two of them that were intercepted, and one where a WR was wide open on the deep right sideline (Bryant?) it’s a different story.

He threw one a little high to IW on a long 3rd down I think. IW shoulda caught it even though it came to him a little quicker than expected and was high.

I think he was just a little rushed and uncomfortable. We need to scheme around our vulnerable o-line.
 
#160      
After watching the game, a few notes:

1. Our defense was quite good and there was a night and day difference from Kansas and Toledo. Great aggressiveness, outstanding push, tight coverage with Newton being the best player on the field. This was the defense we expected to start the season.

2. Matthew Bailey was a big difference maker, especially with respect to run support. We need him healthy and to stay on the field, as he covers a lot of the defensive issues from the LBs we saw in the first 2 weeks

3. The Scotts are only sophomores. They were good and they're only going to get better.

4. Reggie Love needs to get more touches. He's been solid for us, averaging over 5yds a carry with what has been a subpar line in front of him. He's our #1 RB and yet he's only getting 11 touches per game. Lunney has to get him more involved.

5. Josh McCray. Not sure what to say at this point. It seems that opposing defenses are keying in on him and just shooting the gaps whenever he gets the ball like they know the play call before the snap. He shouldn't be blamed too much for that fumble as you don't expect to be immediately drilled by an unblocked defender after the handoff. At the same time though, he's showed no burst, no elusiveness, and limited power any time he's been on the field. It's getting difficult to continue running him out there. Sadly, it seems his injuries might just be too much to overcome for him.

6. The O-line. Honestly, when you consider PSU has one of the best D-lines in the country, they actually performed better than they did in their first 2 games. That said, it was still quite bad, and not only are they giving Altmyer no time to throw out there, the free unimpeded lanes they're giving up are allowing opponents to just tee up on him. Something needs to be done before Luke leaves the field on a stretcher.

7. Pat Bryant- Really poor last 2 games. Coming off of a great game against Toledo, these past 2 games have been sloppy. He needs to be better because...

8. Elzy is the real deal. He's good. Really good.

And finally, and maybe most controversially,

9. Luke Altmyer. He had an awful game and made some even worse throws, however, I actually don't think his game was as bad as it looked. While I'll get to his struggles soon, he once again was very good with his quick timing routes. He is outstanding at throwing slants and his decisions off of 1 and 3 step timing is very sharp, very accurate, and usually the correct decision. When Lunney has called these plays, Luke has been surgical all season including against PSU. But where Luke has struggled, it's when he's been forced to improvise or wait for longer routes to develop. First, his line isn't giving him the time needed to allow those late developing plays, so as soon as he feels the inevitable pressure, he rushes the throw without seeing the full coverage. As well, when he's forced out of the pocket, he almost needs to tuck the ball and run, or just throw it away, as he is trying too hard to make the great play or perfect pass that just isn't there. Really Lunney needs to start calling more plays that cater to what the offense is capable of. Call more runs, call more slants and 1 to 3 step timing plays, if there's blitz recognition, call screens or shovel passes. Luke is a really good quarterback- he just needs some help from the OC right now as his line just isn't capable of giving him much.

Overall, this was a much better game. Gives me hope we can still win the West as the West absolutely stinks. As in historically stinks. There is not a game left on this schedule we can't win (@Maryland is our toughest left imo). Play smarter with some better play calling and we can do it
To summarize your excellent observations, if Lunney had followed your point 9, turnovers would have been reduced and we might possibly have won the game.
 
#162      
Okay, I am back from our trip to Chambana, and here are my thoughts for anyone who is remotely interested. :ROFLMAO:

Memorial Stadium/Atmosphere
- It is literally crazy how high the "ceiling" is for the tailgating atmosphere we could have. We stayed at an airbnb west of the stadium and walked about a mile down Kirby to Grange Grove. As you walked down that tree-lined street and started to see the flags at the tailgates and the columns of Memorial Stadium appear in the distance, it was easy to envision what could be if we can keep this turnaround goin'. Grange Grove was fun as always, but I think the lot across the street to the west looked as good if not better! My one nitpick is they really should sell beer somewhere in there ... whether that's a beer garden or just a stand. I had three different people come ask me where I got my beer and if there was anywhere they could get one, haha. I think a lot of people walk over to that area with no set tailgate in mind.
- The atmosphere in the stadium was also pretty darn good for having long stretches where there was nothing to cheer about. The "orange out" went extremely well, the student turnout was fantastic and when we scored that first touchdown, it got genuinely loud! And that was only 49k fans. On that note...
- I'm fairly impressed with the attendance. All things considered, I could have seen our fans jump ship after the scare in week one and the beatdown in Lawrence and for us to have had an attendance even worse than Toledo.
- With that said, we sat in row 38 of 102, which is in East Main. We were in the shade for a little bit and then in the sun for most of the game, to ground you spatially. There were a LOT of fans seated behind us in those covered seats. It's just a shame we sell those tickets (and that those seats exist!), as if you redistributed that capacity to the East Balcony, the place would have looked perfectly packed for the national broadcast rather than have some sections fairly empty up there. Again, I'm massively team build the brick wall to match West Main!

Champaign
- I finally got to try Maize at the Station, and I have to say it was great! I was NOT picturing that much of a sit-down restaurant with a full bar and a pretty good atmosphere. I will be going back.
- Downtown Champaign was fun Friday night. We ate at Nando Milano, and it was fun to walk around and see all the people out and about in the beer gardens and the Taylor Street ped-mall-like area. I know this is just the general problem of the Midwest, but MAN is Champaign so much easier to "sell" to recruits when it's warm than when it's cold!
- I also finally went to Illini Inn just to say we'd been there and since it was a pretty easy walk from the stadium. I have to say, the outside looks so cool and the inside is fine but kind of underwhelming by comparison. I was going to ask about that Mug Club thing, but I chickened out, haha.

Finally ... the Game/Team
- I came away from the game REALLY upset having watched it in person. However, after watching some highlights and reading what you all had to say here, I am much more optimistic. They scored 20 off of our 5 turnovers ... and we lost by 17. Clean up our game, and we could be playing to tie the game in the fourth quarter in front of a still-full and raucous crowd. I guess the frustrating AND encouraging part is the pieces are indeed there ... I'm incredibly glad that we didn't just get demolished from start to finish. On that note...
- IF Penn State is as good as the hype suggests, then we indeed have reason for optimism with this schedule. If we have our heads on straight, we should beat FAU without too much of a scare. Then I think the game at Purdue will REALLY tell us how many wins we can wrack up this year ... Purdue has not looked great so far and they've been a monkey on our backs the last couple of years, so we need to prove to ourselves we can march in and win a Big Ten West road game that we should.
 
#163      
Let myself simmer down from Saturday afternoon to avoid irrational posting.

The defense has markedly improved since Week 1.

The offense has talent, but it just hasn't come together yet.

I'll chalk the poor QB play up as an outlier for now, but the passing game needs to get its poop in a group.

I think a lot of people will enjoy watching Feagin in the coming years.

This was (arguably) the most difficult game of the year. Get right next week, be 2-2 and now play .500 (preferably better) the rest of the way and go bowling.
 
#166      
To summarize your excellent observations, if Lunney had followed your point 9, turnovers would have been reduced and we might possibly have won the game.
Personally, I honestly do feel that with a gameplan that better catered to our offense, and our offensive lie woes particularly, that we would've had a really really solid shot at pulling the upset. That 30-13 score wasn't even remotely close to defining what happened on the field. In fact, most PSU media coverage right now is pretty critical of what they saw, as they should be. Penn State is who we thought they were, solid but not spectacular, and beatable by anyone with a strong defense.

Lunney pushed the playcalling too much in my opinion, instead of allowing us to play within our capabilities. If PSU is averaging 3 step timing to get to your QB, you just can't keep calling 5 and 7 step timing plays. You're just pushing your luck at that point hoping something good will happen out of it. I think we pushed our luck way too much. Sure, Luke threw the picks, but 2 of those 4 passes for sure he should never have even remotely been put in the position to make them. Rewatching the game, it's just hard to justify our playcalling considering how our o-line was performing.

One final thing, when Bret responded with "it was insanity" to the 4 interceptions, I really don't think he was just talking about Luke's decision making out there. My guess would be he had some choice words after the game to Lunney as well.
 
#167      
- I came away from the game REALLY upset having watched it in person. However, after watching some highlights and reading what you all had to say here, I am much more optimistic. They scored 20 off of our 5 turnovers ... and we lost by 17. Clean up our game, and we could be playing to tie the game in the fourth quarter in front of a still-full and raucous crowd.
And keep in mind turnovers hurt in two ways. They give your opponent extra opportunities to score, but they also rob you of your own opportunities. Who knows what might have happened w/o as many turnovers? Might they have scored 12 fewer points and Illini 12 more for example? Minus 9, plus 9? All the other stats were a wash through the 3rd Q. We have reason for optimism IF Penn State is nearly as good as their #7 rank.
 
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#169      

skyIdub

Winged Warrior
I want to run into the Smith center with a bra on my head and yell at the top of my lungs "GET REGGIE 25 TOUCHES PER GAME".
We have two legit game breakers on offense. Reggie and IW. If Barry Lunney Jr. can't figure out how to get these two the ball 25-30 times per game...I'm completely over him.
Sprinkle McCray, Elzy and Feagin in for some change of pace.


12 touches for Reggie?? Seriously?? Maybe Lunney is an ok OC...but our OL is not handling the pressure that this RPO is putting on Luke and the pitiful attempts to run that I've seen so far.

For the love of all that is sacred in football.....put Luke under center with some TE's and maybe a blocking back and show me what I watched Wisconsin do for YEARS! UNDER BB!!

Do they even practice a pro set with two backs? Two TE's?

RUN. THE. BALL!!!!!!

I AM GOING TO ALL CAPS UNTIL I'M KEYBOARD HOARSE!!/s
 
#170      
I want to run into the Smith center with a bra on my head and yell at the top of my lungs "GET REGGIE 25 TOUCHES PER GAME".
We have two legit game breakers on offense. Reggie and IW. If Barry Lunney Jr. can't figure out how to get these two the ball 25-30 times per game...I'm completely over him.
Sprinkle McCray, Elzy and Feagin in for some change of pace.


12 touches for Reggie?? Seriously?? Maybe Lunney is an ok OC...but our OL is not handling the pressure that this RPO is putting on Luke and the pitiful attempts to run that I've seen so far.

For the love of all that is sacred in football.....put Luke under center with some TE's and maybe a blocking back and show me what I watched Wisconsin do for YEARS! UNDER BB!!

Do they even practice a pro set with two backs? Two TE's?

RUN. THE. BALL!!!!!!

I AM GOING TO ALL CAPS UNTIL I'M KEYBOARD HOARSE!
tom hardy doof warrior GIF
 
#172      
Just a couple observations:

* After Paddock's abysmal first 3 throws, he was 10 of 13 for 126 yds, 1TD and no interceptions - but it was against the second string so we can't reach any critical conclusions, but I was encouraged after my initial frustration
* Everybody deserves to have a bad day and Luke had his. I've put it behind me and assume he has too.
* Hank Beatty had yet another game where he had a 100% completion rate. If we need 4 yds for a first down, I'm calling his number.
 
#173      
I have to agree … And it has to go get fixed … These are ALL Bret’s guys … No excuses … Bret knows he need to get this 💩 fixed … When we lost Jones to Auburn … I don’t think we realized how much that would sting …

There’s a reason we prioritized OL on the trail in 2024 … And we are actively after JUCO guys …
After watching the game, a few notes:

1. Our defense was quite good and there was a night and day difference from Kansas and Toledo. Great aggressiveness, outstanding push, tight coverage with Newton being the best player on the field. This was the defense we expected to start the season.

2. Matthew Bailey was a big difference maker, especially with respect to run support. We need him healthy and to stay on the field, as he covers a lot of the defensive issues from the LBs we saw in the first 2 weeks

3. The Scotts are only sophomores. They were good and they're only going to get better.

4. Reggie Love needs to get more touches. He's been solid for us, averaging over 5yds a carry with what has been a subpar line in front of him. He's our #1 RB and yet he's only getting 11 touches per game. Lunney has to get him more involved.

5. Josh McCray. Not sure what to say at this point. It seems that opposing defenses are keying in on him and just shooting the gaps whenever he gets the ball like they know the play call before the snap. He shouldn't be blamed too much for that fumble as you don't expect to be immediately drilled by an unblocked defender after the handoff. At the same time though, he's showed no burst, no elusiveness, and limited power any time he's been on the field. It's getting difficult to continue running him out there. Sadly, it seems his injuries might just be too much to overcome for him.

6. The O-line. Honestly, when you consider PSU has one of the best D-lines in the country, they actually performed better than they did in their first 2 games. That said, it was still quite bad, and not only are they giving Altmyer no time to throw out there, the free unimpeded lanes they're giving up are allowing opponents to just tee up on him. Something needs to be done before Luke leaves the field on a stretcher.

7. Pat Bryant- Really poor last 2 games. Coming off of a great game against Toledo, these past 2 games have been sloppy. He needs to be better because...

8. Elzy is the real deal. He's good. Really good.

And finally, and maybe most controversially,

9. Luke Altmyer. He had an awful game and made some even worse throws, however, I actually don't think his game was as bad as it looked. While I'll get to his struggles soon, he once again was very good with his quick timing routes. He is outstanding at throwing slants and his decisions off of 1 and 3 step timing is very sharp, very accurate, and usually the correct decision. When Lunney has called these plays, Luke has been surgical all season including against PSU. But where Luke has struggled, it's when he's been forced to improvise or wait for longer routes to develop. First, his line isn't giving him the time needed to allow those late developing plays, so as soon as he feels the inevitable pressure, he rushes the throw without seeing the full coverage. As well, when he's forced out of the pocket, he almost needs to tuck the ball and run, or just throw it away, as he is trying too hard to make the great play or perfect pass that just isn't there. Really Lunney needs to start calling more plays that cater to what the offense is capable of. Call more runs, call more slants and 1 to 3 step timing plays, if there's blitz recognition, call screens or shovel passes. Luke is a really good quarterback- he just needs some help from the OC right now as his line just isn't capable of giving him much.

Overall, this was a much better game. Gives me hope we can still win the West as the West absolutely stinks. As in historically stinks. There is not a game left on this schedule we can't win (@Maryland is our toughest left imo). Play smarter with some better play calling and we can do it
To sum up your point 6, we really just lack overall athleticism on the OL (especially in the interior) and don't have an anchor like we did last year with Palcho.
 
#175      
To sum up your point 6, we really just lack overall athleticism on the OL (especially in the interior) and don't have an anchor like we did last year with Palcho.
Yeah, before the season started, I don't think anyone would have picked Alex Palczewski as the player we'd miss most this year, but man have we missed the stability he brought.
 
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