Pregame: Illinois vs Maryland, Friday, September 17th, 8:00pm CT, FS1

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#101      
#102      
I think Bielema will do well, IF we can give him enough time to really build this into a program. And Yes, Blackman was a damn fine coach, he faced daunting schedules, and always had the team prepared... But we got impatient so we created the worst disaster of all, we replaced him with Gary Moeller. . .
We cut off our nose to spite our own face...
We still become successful when we can get our OL to be a strength. It won't be easy or pretty football, but if we can run the ball it salves some of our other issues like a non-elite D and a somewhat pedestrian passing game. I had much higher hopes for the OL this year than they have shown and we will continue losing until they play on the other side of the line instead of in our backfield. BB knows this and that is why his first class is so OL heavy.
 
#103      
Bethesda, Maryland
Ah yes, that game made me give up my season tickets that I had already paid for. Called the worst college football game ever in some places.

I recall reading the brief account of that game in the Sunday paper the next day as a sixth grader and devouring it with morbid fascination. It seemed to be a true sports oddity.

[EDIT} And I love the fact that Dave Wilson passed for 50% more yardage in a single, NCAA record-setting, game against OSU in 1981 than the Illini QB amassed during the entire 1977 season.
 
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#104      
I recall reading the brief account of that game in the Sunday paper the next day as a sixth grader and devouring it with morbid fascination. It seemed to be a true sports oddity.

[EDIT} And I love the fact that Dave Wilson passed for 50% more yardage in a single, NCAA record-setting, game against OSU in 1981 than the Illini QB amassed during the entire 1977 season.
And despite all those passing yards we lost that game at OSU.
 
#106      
An interesting nugget Bielema brought up was giving up chunk plays (pass 20+ yard, runs 12+ yards), and that giving up over 4 usually results in a loss.

Our defense is already at a disadvantage by not having the athletes we want at corner, hence why we are 7 yards off and constantly giving up slants. But we can’t go press because we might get blown by at the LOS.

The lack of pass rush isn’t doing us many favors either, and could cure some issues on the backend by making QBs uncomfortable throwing, rather than the 7 on 7s that have been provided so far.
Losing #5 for the season due to injury in the first game really hurts, too.
 
#107      
I think Bielema will do well, IF we can give him enough time to really build this into a program. And Yes, Blackman was a damn fine coach, he faced daunting schedules, and always had the team prepared... But we got impatient so we created the worst disaster of all, we replaced him with Gary Moeller. . .
We cut off our nose to spite our own face...
I agree wholeheartedly. That said, recruiting is the name of the game in CF. It woud be helpful if Illinois could win 4 or 5 games and show improvement over the course of the season. A good trend will help recruiting efforts.
 
#108      
I agree wholeheartedly. That said, recruiting is the name of the game in CF. It woud be helpful if Illinois could win 4 or 5 games and show improvement over the course of the season. A good trend will help recruiting efforts.
I agree with you, but I said that during our bowl season under Lovie and it did not materialize.
 
#109      
We still become successful when we can get our OL to be a strength. It won't be easy or pretty football, but if we can run the ball it salves some of our other issues like a non-elite D and a somewhat pedestrian passing game. I had much higher hopes for the OL this year than they have shown and we will continue losing until they play on the other side of the line instead of in our backfield. BB knows this and that is why his first class is so OL heavy.
The OL has played fairly well, overall. They are small at guard, so they struggle some with the interior run game. But they are a decent group that is improving. Plus the coaches have made good halftime adjustments in every game. And although they're not dominant, per se, not all of the offensive woes can be blamed on the OL.

For starters, the team needs RBs that can hit the hole -- or the crease -- when it opens. Illinois' RBs are not that quick as a group. At times a RB has failed to hit the hole before it closed up. I can think of one play, in particular, against UTSA that looked like it was "there" for a breakaway, but the RB got beat to the crease by the scraping LB. At other times the RBs don't see the hole. How often have you heard commentators discuss a great RB's "vision."

Then there are times when the OL and TE are simply outnumbered at the point of attack and cannnot block all of the defense, which has stacked the box with 7 or 8 (or more) defensive players--because Illinois has NOT demonstrated the ability to throw the ball effectively to loosen defenses up. Illinois QBs (whomever is in the pocket) is going to have to trust their arm more and give #1 and #6, as well as #82 and #87 a chance to go get the ball! The QBs need to put some trust in both their own capabilities and the big play talent on the roster.
 
#111      
For starters, the team needs RBs that can hit the hole -- or the crease -- when it opens. Illinois' RBs are not that quick as a group. At times a RB has failed to hit the hole before it closed up. I can think of one play, in particular, against UTSA that looked like it was "there" for a breakaway, but the RB got beat to the crease by the scraping LB. At other times the RBs don't see the hole. How often have you heard commentators discuss a great RB's "vision."
This is where a healthy Chase Brown is a difference maker.
 
#112      
I agree with you, but I said that during our bowl season under Lovie and it did not materialize.
We were basically showing off the worst facilities in the B1G at that time.
 
#113      
The OL has played fairly well, overall. They are small at guard, so they struggle some with the interior run game. But they are a decent group that is improving. Plus the coaches have made good halftime adjustments in every game. And although they're not dominant, per se, not all of the offensive woes can be blamed on the OL.

For starters, the team needs RBs that can hit the hole -- or the crease -- when it opens. Illinois' RBs are not that quick as a group. At times a RB has failed to hit the hole before it closed up. I can think of one play, in particular, against UTSA that looked like it was "there" for a breakaway, but the RB got beat to the crease by the scraping LB. At other times the RBs don't see the hole. How often have you heard commentators discuss a great RB's "vision."

Then there are times when the OL and TE are simply outnumbered at the point of attack and cannnot block all of the defense, which has stacked the box with 7 or 8 (or more) defensive players--because Illinois has NOT demonstrated the ability to throw the ball effectively to loosen defenses up. Illinois QBs (whomever is in the pocket) is going to have to trust their arm more and give #1 and #6, as well as #82 and #87 a chance to go get the ball! The QBs need to put some trust in both their own capabilities and the big play talent on the roster.
The coaching staff also needs to call plays that take advantage of what the D is doing.
 
#115      
I recall reading the brief account of that game in the Sunday paper the next day as a sixth grader and devouring it with morbid fascination. It seemed to be a true sports oddity.

[EDIT} And I love the fact that Dave Wilson passed for 50% more yardage in a single, NCAA record-setting, game against OSU in 1981 than the Illini QB amassed during the entire 1977 season.
When you think about it, that statistic is absolutely stunning.
 
#116      
A number of of the “experts” I follow for sports betting like the Illini to cover spread. They are really good at this betting thing but I just don’t see it. They seem to think Maryland is almost as bad as we are..
 
#117      
Tennessee
I recall reading the brief account of that game in the Sunday paper the next day as a sixth grader and devouring it with morbid fascination. It seemed to be a true sports oddity.

[EDIT} And I love the fact that Dave Wilson passed for 50% more yardage in a single, NCAA record-setting, game against OSU in 1981 than the Illini QB amassed during the entire 1977 season.
The entire article is worth reading but the below sentences are key:

"Cecil Coleman, the Illinois AD, had tired of Coach Blackman’s inability to gain any ground on Michigan and Ohio State. It was time to chase the Big 2, and he took what he thought was a big step towards this goal by hiring Michigan defensive coordinator Gary Moeller on the recommendation of Bo Schembechler."

Why would Coleman hire Moeller based on Schembechler's recommendation?

Anyway, after VA, it is difficult to be optimistic about IL vs. MD, even though a terrapin is much less dangerous than a cavalier. It would be a moral victory to keep the game close during the first half and lose by less than two touchdowns.
 
#118      
time to hop on the wife
Here I am working on game day wtf. Guessing my GD optimism holds til the start of the 2nd quarter?
 
#119      
Just remember, despite what has happened the last two weeks, the First Place team in the Big 10 West will be stepping on that field tonight.
 
#121      
When you think about it, that statistic is absolutely stunning.
I remember the first game with Mike White and Dave Wilson. Memorial Stadium gave a standing ovation after the first play - an incomplete deep pass.

I also remember the UI - Purdue game, Oct. 18 1980, where early in the 4th quarter the PA announced that Mark Hermann had just set an NCAA single game passing record. On the next possession, the same PA announced that Dave Wilson had just set an NCAA passing record (breaking Mark Hermann's record). Fun times. Of course, Wilson shattered that record at tOSU 3 weeks later.
 
#122      
It's a new week. I have a renewed sense of optimism, my orange colored glasses, some blue kool-aid.... just kidding. Need to make a scotch run in case Locksley and Zook drop a 60 burger on us.
 
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