Pregame: Illinois vs Charlotte, Saturday, October 2nd, 11:00am CT, BTN

Status
Not open for further replies.
#101      
IMO we qualify for the really bad offense exception
Not knocking our guys, we just don't have enough talent on O to compete right now.
Yet, we have competed in four of our five games and had an opportunity to throw a knockout punch in our last two. We not only refused to do so, we gave them the ball and went into a "please complete all of the passes that you desire to" type of defense.
 
#102      
Going to put a positive spin here: outside of Bret's late-game decision making, if you had told me Illinois would be competitive in 4 of their 5 games against quality opponents (UTSA is 4-0 and coming off win against a good Memphis squad), I wouldn't be too upset considering it's year 1 of BB's tenure. You could debate that Purdue and Maryland aren't really that good, but under Lovie most decent conference teams would easily drub us.
That didn't actually happen.
 
#103      
To me, the decision to punt in plus territory comes down to one thing, what would the opposing coach want?

And it’s not really something that requires a lot of thought and analysis, because at a basic level, all one has to do is put themselves in the other coach’s shoes.

For instance, if I’m Jeff Brohm, I’m begging BB to punt. I don’t care if it’s downed at the 1 yard line, just let me get my offense on the field to try to at least pull even, if not ahead.

If there was…say only 1:15 left in the game, and we were playing Iowa…maybe punting is the right call. Iowa might not be built to go 95+ yards quickly and they’d rather try to stop a 4th and 2 to preserve the shorter field. (I bet they’d still rather have the ball, though)

It’s possibly team/style/coach/situation dependent…but it’s a very simple question.

And the last 2 Saturdays, against teams with high tempo/passing offenses, we all know Locksley and Brohm wanted the ball back.

The punt is the only play that guarantees they get the ball back.

So. Don’t. Do. It.
 
#105      
Lovie would’ve definitely punted in those same scenario’s BB faced, but we were always getting killed. Instead we got Peters making life more difficult than it needed to be by running all over the damn place to eventually throw it up for Imatorbehebe. Need to quit acting like Peter’s better than he is just because he came from Michigan
Lovie by nature is conservative like BB but I feel like he went for a few that surprised me as someone who’s watched his entire head coaching career.

I think the most conservative play Lovie would have made there is the field goal. He didn’t seem to be fazed by his kicker missing before.
 
#106      
When you are a losing program, with nothing to lose, you go for it on 4th and 1 and 4th and 2 in iffy situations. When you have a losing record and a bowl game seems far-fetched, you go for it in those situations. I'm disappointed, since earlier in Bielema's career he made different decisions. We need a leader that is going to show guts and grit. Playing not to lose is a bad argument. We are playing to win. Go back and watch the great college football coaches of the last 50 years. When there was no OT, they would go for 2 at the end of games. When there was a 4th and 1, they would go for it. The coaches have to learn also, and get better. Otherwise in 10 years we will be in this same tailspin.
 
#109      
If BB takes the risk to go for it and comes up short, Illini fans would be screaming, "WHY?(!)"

The defense had held Purdue to two FGs scored way back in the first quarter. BB took a calculated risk that his D would hold up. It didn't. Bummer. But the outcome, while regrettable in hindsight, doesn't make BB's decision to punt and rely on his defense completely unreasonable.
Just not true. Maybe some fans, but the majority of fans were absolutely fuming over the decision to not go for it, just read the board and Twitter. Personally, if we went for it and came up short, I would be 100% ok with the decision to go for it and risk it. Every Illini fan knew the outcome of the game once we punted. What do we have to lose?
 
#110      

Ransom Stoddard

Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
Since I haven't typed out words on "the punt" in a while--Bert has faith in his defense. He apparently doesn't have faith in his offense (who does, really?). While I disagree with the decision to punt, I understand it based on my assumptions above, and if I were working from the same assumptions and with the same conditions I might have done the same. The difference is that I'm a jamoke with no football experience at all other than armchair QB'ing and coaching for 40 years, and he's a highly paid, highly experienced professional.

And point 2. Art isn't the solution to our offensive problems. Peters isn't either, they're both part of the problem, but the old adage goes that the most popular guy on the team is the 2nd string QB, simply because he's not the guy on the field making the mistakes--until he is. We're going to struggle at QB until BB and Peterson build their offensive roster around the style of ball they want to play. On paper, Peters *should* be that guy, but he gets the yips when under pressure. Peters has the advantage of a bigger playbook, so I plead with Peterson to do some things with BP that play to his strengths and to that of the offense. Things that have been brought up here before --more TE slants, more outside rushing, more creativity with IW and Deuce.
 
#111      

RedRocksIllini

Morrison, CO
Seems like pressure on their QB is going to be the key for us on the defensive side. If we don't disrupt their passing game, this game could be ugly.

On the offensive side, we need to figure out some sort of passing game. I'd like to see more of Bryant this week. He looked like he could become a good receiver. Also hoping we throw lots of passes to our 2 tight ends. Would expect Barker and Ford to have an advantage that we should exploit. And keep working on the running game.
 
#112      

Serious Late

Peoria via Denver via Ann Arbor via Albuquerque vi
This thread is about Charlotte, isn't it? Somehow it turned into a rehashing of The Punt.
You are correct. It is probably beating a dead horse a bit, but when we all just witnessed the most mind-numbing decision in a recent history filled with mind-numbing decisions, it can be hard to get over. That it happened two weeks in a row makes it much more relevant to the conversation around games moving forward. It can't happen again.

What I hope to see against Charlotte: Not punting on 4th and short in plus territory.
 
#113      
Bielema played and coached at Iowa. He coached at Wisconsin. Haven't you seen how those programs operate?

Run the ball, control the clock, good game clock management, a QB that makes few mistakes, a D that stops the run and when in doubt, you PUNT. Over and over and over it goes. Game after game, year after year. They don't change. Some years are better than others but rarely do you have an Illinois type of year.

Bielema doesn't have the players at this point to perfect the above but he's not going to change. It's not going to happen. He'll either find the players to fit the system above or he won't. It's not complicated.

Edited to add: The collective group of assistant coaches at Illinois this year are far better than......anyone can remember. It seems the coaching ranks respect Bielema which is more than the usual laughing stock we've been.
 
Last edited:
#115      
Ryan Johnson as the wildcard!
Now that’s the sort of thing I could get behind. Both Art and BP are known commodities, we know their strengths and weaknesses.

Before the season is done, Ryan Johnson will take meaningful snaps for this football team. Whether that be he earns them or he is called upon as the next guy up is to be determined.
 
#116      
Charlotte fan/alum here. Looking forward to the game for a number of reasons. Always great to get road tested against P5 teams to see how you stack up when lights are bright and pressure is high. We're off to a rollicking start, despite laying an egg on the road, in the rain, against a better-than-their-record Georgia State team.

We play a staggered tempo, fun and gun style. QB Chris Reynolds is easily the best we've had in that position in our short history. Has a decent arm, good vision, and can create. We give him option calls about 20-30% of the time. RB by committee. Camp (Bruiser), Byrd (Speedster), McEachern (Patient Cutter). Byrd and Camp are serviceable flat receivers, too.

Our strongest position group is WR. We have two candidates for Sundays, Victor Tucker and Grant Dubose. Both have big play speed and hands. Our TE Taylor Thompson is making a leap this year as a sophomore. Reminds us of Greg Olsen in build and ability to catch and immediately turn downfield in one motion. His hands and strength are developing but you cannot teach his size and determination.

In the trenches, we are just ok on both sides of the ball. Lost a lot to graduation and portal last year, but yung'ns coming along nicely. Decent size but footwork, hands, and smarts are all in the early aughts for most of them.

We rely upon our offense to put up big numbers because our defense can be pretty suspect, especially stopping the run. We get in ruts where we can't stop a nosebleed and usually, good coaches will exploit it until we sell it out, and then we start getting beat over the top on the sidelines. This was the GaSt playbook to a T and we could never quite adjust. Duke ran all over us but we were able to better pressure their QB on dropbacks and it covered a lot of weaknesses in our secondary by never allowing him to get the ball in the air. We didn't get that pressure in the backfield against GaSt or MTSU, but thankfully we could score a billion against MTSU while we really struggled to move the ball in the rain at GaSt.

Certainly do not expect we will be underestimated in this game by Illinois, especially after losing to UTSA. We fortunately avoided them and UAB from C-USA West Div this year, so a win for us this weekend would be a massive boon, not only for perception's sake to have two P5 wins in the same season, but 4-1 with 7 games to go almost assuredly has us on track for our second bowl appearance in program history.

I'll be watching from afar, but hoping for nice weather, no injuries, and an entertaining game.

The most active discussion board if you want to join us is Agent49's discord, and here is a link to the game thread: https://discord.com/channels/619372802729967616/892064769786408970
 
Last edited:
#117      
We get in ruts where we can't stop a nosebleed and usually, good coaches will exploit it until we sell it out, and then we start getting beat over the top on the sidelines. This was the GaSt playbook to a T and we could never quite adjust.

I'm sure you'll sell out again to stop the run. No reason not to at this point as Illinois hasn't shown the ability to beat anyone over the top. We keep hoping Illinois will find a deep passing connection but......
 
#118      
Since I haven't typed out words on "the punt" in a while--Bert has faith in his defense. He apparently doesn't have faith in his offense (who does, really?). While I disagree with the decision to punt, I understand it based on my assumptions above, and if I were working from the same assumptions and with the same conditions I might have done the same. The difference is that I'm a jamoke with no football experience at all other than armchair QB'ing and coaching for 40 years, and he's a highly paid, highly experienced professional.

And point 2. Art isn't the solution to our offensive problems. Peters isn't either, they're both part of the problem, but the old adage goes that the most popular guy on the team is the 2nd string QB, simply because he's not the guy on the field making the mistakes--until he is. We're going to struggle at QB until BB and Peterson build their offensive roster around the style of ball they want to play. On paper, Peters *should* be that guy, but he gets the yips when under pressure. Peters has the advantage of a bigger playbook, so I plead with Peterson to do some things with BP that play to his strengths and to that of the offense. Things that have been brought up here before --more TE slants, more outside rushing, more creativity with IW and Deuce.
I understand your point of view... yet I would argue the offense looked way more capable and a threat with Artur at quarterback! Big plays every game! We stretched the field and we moved the ball! Most importantly the defense got to rest and weren't gassed in the 4th quarter!
 
#119      

pruman91

Paducah, Ky
Just not true. Maybe some fans, but the majority of fans were absolutely fuming over the decision to not go for it, just read the board and Twitter. Personally, if we went for it and came up short, I would be 100% ok with the decision to go for it and risk it. Every Illini fan knew the outcome of the game once we punted. What do we have to lose?
giphy - 2021-06-22T113532.464.gif
 
#120      

Deleted member 747867

D
Guest
I'm sure some would, but they'd be wrong. This has nothing to do with the outcome. Some decisions are bad regardless of how they ultimately turn out. For example, if you ran the ball on 3rd and 15 from the opponent's 20 yard line, there is a small chance you'd get the 1st down. Even if you did it would be a head-scratcher of a decision. You have to play the odds, and the odds are clear that you have a better chance winning the game if you go for it. For one, if you convert, that's a huge boost to your chances of winning. If you don't convert, your defense can still stop them. It's not like they automatically get the points if you don't make the first down. The difference between giving them the ball on the 40 or the 5 is relatively minor compared to the difference between retaining possession vs giving your opponent the ball.
So, you're saying 35 yds of field position doesn't matter. Hmm...

Good coaches PREACH the importance of winning field position over the course of the game (for instance, through kick coverage exchanges). I submit that >1/3 the length of the field is NOT "relatively minor." Your methodology for calculating the odds on that one is fundamentally flawed.

Add to that your concession that "your defense can still stop them" if you go for it and fail, undermines the premise of your argument that field position "is relatively minor."

If you deem your defense solid enough to stop them from driving 60 yards to score, then your confidence in your defense to stop them from driving 95 yards to score is reasonably deemed to be even higher, right? And so the "odds" calculation for winning the game goes to stopping them from driving 80 yards (should the ensuing punt result in a touchback) versus turning the ball over on downs (which would be a significant negative momentum shift) and being able to stop them from driving 60 yards. But it's MORE than merely field position that you must take into account. The defense was having more success than the offense on the whole.

My point being, one cannot make a formulaic assessment of the "odds" as you suggest. It was a reasonable decision to punt--even if one could argue the alternative that taking a calculated risk to go for it was also reasonable . . . based, ironically, on the defense's demonstrated ability to stop Purdue throughout the game (ha!). So get off your high horse on this one. BB's decision to punt and play D is not what cost the team the game.
 
#121      
Bielema played and coached at Iowa. He coached at Wisconsin. Haven't you seen how those programs operate?

Run the ball, control the clock, good game clock management, a QB that makes few mistakes, a D that stops the run and when in doubt, you PUNT. Over and over and over it goes. Game after game, year after year. They don't change. Some years are better than others but rarely do you have an Illinois type of year.

Bielema doesn't have the players at this point to perfect the above but he's not going to change. It's not going to happen. He'll either find the players to fit the system above or he won't. It's not complicated.

Edited to add: The collective group of assistant coaches at Illinois this year are far better than......anyone can remember. It seems the coaching ranks respect Bielema which is more than the usual laughing stock we've been.
Well said.
 
#122      
Charlotte fan/alum here. Looking forward to the game for a number of reasons. Always great to get road tested against P5 teams to see how you stack up when lights are bright and pressure is high. We're off to a rollicking start, despite laying an egg on the road, in the rain, against a better-than-their-record Georgia State team.

We play a staggered tempo, fun and gun style. QB Chris Reynolds is easily the best we've had in that position in our short history. Has a decent arm, good vision, and can create. We give him option calls about 20-30% of the time. RB by committee. Camp (Bruiser), Byrd (Speedster), McEachern (Patient Cutter). Byrd and Camp are serviceable flat receivers, too.

Our strongest position group is WR. We have two candidates for Sundays, Victor Tucker and Grant Dubose. Both have big play speed and hands. Our TE Taylor Thompson is making a leap this year as a sophomore. Reminds us of Greg Olsen in build and ability to catch and immediately turn downfield in one motion. His hands and strength are developing but you cannot teach his size and determination.

In the trenches, we are just ok on both sides of the ball. Lost a lot to graduation and portal last year, but yung'ns coming along nicely. Decent size but footwork, hands, and smarts are all in the early aughts for most of them.

We rely upon our offense to put up big numbers because our defense can be pretty suspect, especially stopping the run. We get in ruts where we can't stop a nosebleed and usually, good coaches will exploit it until we sell it out, and then we start getting beat over the top on the sidelines. This was the GaSt playbook to a T and we could never quite adjust. Duke ran all over us but we were able to better pressure their QB on dropbacks and it covered a lot of weaknesses in our secondary by never allowing him to get the ball in the air. We didn't get that pressure in the backfield against GaSt or MTSU, but thankfully we could score a billion against MTSU while we really struggled to move the ball in the rain at GaSt.

Certainly do not expect we will be underestimated in this game by Illinois, especially after losing to UTSA. We fortunately avoided them and UAB from C-USA West Div this year, so a win for us this weekend would be a massive boon, not only for perception's sake to have two P5 wins in the same season, but 4-1 with 7 games to go almost assuredly has us on track for our second bowl appearance in program history.

I'll be watching from afar, but hoping for nice weather, no injuries, and an entertaining game.

The most active discussion board if you want to join us is Agent49's discord, and here is a link to the game thread: https://discord.com/channels/619372802729967616/892064769786408970

Welcome to Illinois Loyalty board... BTW: Your link only takes you to a Discord login... NOT to any specific discussion board... Watched your game against Middle Tenn St. . .Well played.. exciting game.
 
#123      
So, you're saying 35 yds of field position doesn't matter. Hmm...

Good coaches PREACH the importance of winning field position over the course of the game (for instance, through kick coverage exchanges). I submit that >1/3 the length of the field is NOT "relatively minor." Your methodology for calculating the odds on that one is fundamentally flawed.

Add to that your concession that "your defense can still stop them" if you go for it and fail, undermines the premise of your argument that field position "is relatively minor."

If you deem your defense solid enough to stop them from driving 60 yards to score, then your confidence in your defense to stop them from driving 95 yards to score is reasonably deemed to be even higher, right? And so the "odds" calculation for winning the game goes to stopping them from driving 80 yards (should the ensuing punt result in a touchback) versus turning the ball over on downs (which would be a significant negative momentum shift) and being able to stop them from driving 60 yards. But it's MORE than merely field position that you must take into account. The defense was having more success than the offense on the whole.

My point being, one cannot make a formulaic assessment of the "odds" as you suggest. It was a reasonable decision to punt--even if one could argue the alternative that taking a calculated risk to go for it was also reasonable . . . based, ironically, on the defense's demonstrated ability to stop Purdue throughout the game (ha!). So get off your high horse on this one. BB's decision to punt and play D is not what cost the team the game.
I agree completely. if you listen to some of these posts you would be led to believe that a first down would have won us the game. We still would have needed to score a TD to win. That is not something we even came close to doing throughout the game. We have to assume whatever we did that Purdue was going to score on their possession, so only a touchdown would have saved us. I enjoy the discussions but when they get personal against the coach I think it hurts our coach’s ability to build the program. Negativity makes getting the team ready for next week and recruiting that much more difficult. We must be aware that players and recruits listen in.
 
#124      
Welcome to Illinois Loyalty board... BTW: Your link only takes you to a Discord login... NOT to any specific discussion board... Watched your game against Middle Tenn St. . .Well played.. exciting game.
Thanks, perhaps that link works for me since I have an account there. This is the invite link to the global Agent49 board. If you have a discord account already, it should take you there. The sidebar organizes discussions by topic and #football has a sub-thread for the game.

 
#125      
Swore off the orange Koolaid last week. Fell off the wagon this week.

Illinois 26
Charlotte 13
 
Status
Not open for further replies.