Pregame: Illinois vs Chattanooga, Thursday, September 22nd, 7:30pm CT, BTN

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#5      
Chattanooga playing at EIU right now on ESPN+. Mocs up 7-3 late in the 1st quarter.

Chattanooga was the preseason favorite to win the SoCon and is currently ranked #10 in the FCS polls. They have a stud DT named Devonnsha Maxwell who was the SoCon Defensive player of the year last season and was the preseason SoCon Defensive Player of the Year this season. He is also on the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS Defensive POY) preseason watch list.
 
#15      
We should definitely win this but are the Mocs the best of our three non-conference opponents?
It's possible.

Wyoming did beat a non-terrible Tulsa team at home in OT last week, so maybe some of their performance was down to first game kinks to work out. But both them and Virginia pretty much just didn't get off the bus.

We'll probably be double digit favorites nonetheless, but if it gets up to 20ish I'd be pretty tempted to take the points.
 
#16      

The Galloping Ghost

Washington, DC
I will worry about this game, as I do.

In particular I will worry that Chattanooga will have a late lead and seal a win on a blocked field goal, bringing things full circle from basketball.
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#19      
Scary to think how bad attendance might be 😂, but just get an easy W and move on to prepping for the Badgers! If we can win in Madison (for the first time in God knows how long…), I think the fans show up for Iowa. And winning the next three wouldn’t just be an amazing momentum boost as we try to build this program … it now looks shockingly doable!

It starts vs. Chattanooga! Clean things up in practice and continue to build confidence as a team.
 
#21      

DeonThomas

South Carolina
Scary to think how bad attendance might be 😂, but just get an easy W and move on to prepping for the Badgers! If we can win in Madison (for the first time in God knows how long…), I think the fans show up for Iowa. And winning the next three wouldn’t just be an amazing momentum boost as we try to build this program … it now looks shockingly doable!

It starts vs. Chattanooga! Clean things up in practice and continue to build confidence as a team.
It actually started here, on December 19, 2020:

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#23      
We should 100% be sending free tickets to schools from Danville to Springfield and Peoria to Effingham
ESPN research from a few years ago said 95% of avid fans become fans of "their" team by age 17. Doing everything we can to get kids in the stands should be first on the list.
My Illini fandom started at age 13 in 1973 when I went on a bus trip from my high school for a campus tour and football game. I was hooked and didn't even apply at any other school. Don't even know if they do things like that any more.
 
#24      

DeonThomas

South Carolina
ESPN research from a few years ago said 95% of avid fans become fans of "their" team by age 17. Doing everything we can to get kids in the stands should be first on the list.
My Illini fandom started at age 13 in 1973 when I went on a bus trip from my high school for a campus tour and football game. I was hooked and didn't even apply at any other school. Don't even know if they do things like that any more.
Pretty much the same story: Hollenbach, Gow, McCarren, Uremovich, Mike Wells, Tom Hicks, Sorey, Perrin and coach Blackman.

How can we not be excited about this coach and this team?

Expecting a large margin of victory in 11 days......
 
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