Virginia 42, Illinois 14 Postgame

#128      
Morris, IL
How can Iowa be so good, year in and year out, but we have become a laughing stock, and have become the team people schedule for Homecoming? Why can Iowa get good recruits, and we cannot? I argued back 10-15 years ago that Ron Zook should stay, even though he wasn't the greatest coach, and I was blasted for it at the time. But he could recruit, and you can win with good players, even though the play calling and scheming wasn't the best. We simply aren't going to get both a good coach AND a good recruiter. Am I the only one that feels like letting Zook go at the time was a mistake? Bret Bielema was a bust at Arkansas. Seems like a nice guy, but i'm not sure this is going to work unless he can recruit. We are a MAC team at best, and have been for a long time now through different regimes. Is it that our players are not as smart as Iowa's players? Or just not as talented? Or just not coached as well? Or all of the above? I'm sick of this.
Bret Bielema was 29 - 34 (.460 winning pct.) over his five years at Arkansas, had a winning record in three of the five years, and went to three bowl games. Illinois was 17 - 29 (.370 winning pct.) in the last five years under Lovie Smith, no years with a winning record (our last was 7-6 in 2011), with one bowl game. We have higher hopes for Bret Bielema's five year Illinois record than what he did at Arkansas, but from where we've been we'd be significantly improved with his "bust" performance.
 
#129      
I will continue to record and fast forward through the commercials and halftime.
Good thing you don't have Hulu. I have the free trial and discovered Hulu doesn't let you skip the commercials. Funny thing was there were a number of commercials from their competitors.
 
#131      
Another positive perspective here…based on results from yesterday I’m betting that FSU and TX are hotter messes right now.
I would take that bet. Texas has a top 15 2021 recruiting class and Florida State has a better pedigree. But once again, I am confident in our staff but also acknowledge that this is a long term rebuild.
 
#132      
We are constantly in the 3 years to rebuild stage
Frankly, if you look at our history we've been basically doing this 'rebuild, fire, hire, rebuild' stuff since the late 1950's... Since Ray Eliot retired in 1959, we've had 14 coaches (now 15), and we're still looking for that 'genie in the bottle' to help us be a winner... Yes, Mike White was a winner (40-26–2) as was Mackovic (22-9–1), but all that success was short lived. A successful and sustainable college football program has eluded us since Bob Zuppke retired in 1941...

We're Illinois... We don't deserve to be good in football. (Sad face)
 
#133      
Good thing you don't have Hulu. I have the free trial and discovered Hulu doesn't let you skip the commercials. Funny thing was there were a number of commercials from their competitors.
Yeah, that was an unpleasant surprise for me, too. They even put commercials in movies and series. Won't be continuing after this 7 days.
 
#134      
Richmond, VA
I had to listen to the radio broadcast, and they mentioned seeing Spann working something out with the trainer. Sounds more like a tweak and probably precautionary keeping him out. After all we we’re getting beat like a drum
Saw from the stands, he was definitely getting training attention (not in the tent though).
 
#135      
Paducah, Ky
You have to pay an extra monthly fee to skip the commercials.
I pay $ 5 extra for ad free but it only applies to streaming series.
If I ever watch my recording of yesterday's game I still can't fast forward through commercials
Big gripe I have with hulu + live
 
#136      
He was also coaching in the SEC where every school not named Alabama has unrealistic expectations
I heard BB say twice in the press conference that the performance was unacceptable.

He won’t sustainably recruit high talent without first starting to build a winning culture. A winning culture is founded on establishing and maintaining performance standards. When I played if a player’s performance was unacceptable then they were told on Monday in front of the team that they were not starting the next game and would have to earn their job back. The high character, winning culture players respond. They work harder, they run harder, they hit harder. BB needs to find his winning culture guys to start building a team around. If he does not then we’ll see more of the same.

it is disappointing to have a team with so many seniors start and finish a game like that. It sure appears that there are not many winning culture players. Will BB find the players that respond and meet his performance standards? The talent difference is not 42-14 stark with Virginia. If it is, then what have these players been doing for 4 years to develop themselves? Not all of that is on Lovie.
 
#137      
Now that we are 25% of the way through our season with little hope left, I decided to take a look at the performance of our underclassmen so I can have faux optimism for the future.

QB:

Sitkowski (SO)- 58/102 56.9% completion, 611 yards, 6 TD, 1 INT

12 game projection- 232/408, 2,444 yards, 24 TD, 4 INT

Sitkowski is on pace to have the best season statistically since wes lunt in 2015. Of course this says more about our previous QBs than about him but he's doing good enough to keep us in games. Worst case scenario here is we have a slightly below average B1G QB that will hold his own for the next couple years while we try to find an upgrade.

RB:

Reggie Love (FR): 24 ATT, 83 YDS, 3.5 AVG, 0 TD

12 game projection- 96 ATT, 332 YDS

Jakari Norwood (SO): 11 ATT, 77 YDS, 7.0 AVG, 0 TD

12 game projection- 44 ATT, 308 YDS

Chase Brown (SO): 12 ATT, 65 YDS, 5.4 AVG, 1 TD

12 game projection- 48 ATT, 260 YDS, 4 TD

Josh McCray (FR): 12 ATT, 49 YDS, 4.1 AVG, 0 TD

12 game projection- 48 ATT, 196 YDS

4 of our top 5 RBs are underclassman so we are set at this position for a few years. If there is any position to be excited about moving forward it's this one.

WR/TE:

Isaiah Williams (FR): 19 REC, 183 YDS, 9.6 AVG, 1 TD

12 game projection- 76 REC, 732 YDS, 4 TD

Casey Washington (SO): 6 REC, 45 YDS, 7.5 AVG, 0 TD

12 game projection- 24 REC, 180 YDS,

Deuce Span (FR): 3 REC, 109 YDS, 36.3 AVG, 2 TD

12 game projection- 12 REC, 436 YDS, 8 TD

Dalevon Campbell (SO): 2 REC, 43 YDS, 21.5 AVG, 0 TD

12 game projection- 8 REC, 172 YDS


Williams is on pace to have the most yards since Geronimo Allison in 2015 and most receptions since mike dudek in 2014. It blows my mind how 2 of our backup quarterbacks from last year are 2 of our top receivers. Also if anyone can find stats for dropped passes I would love to see them.

OL:

No underclassman that I'm aware of have received playing time.

DL:

Jer'zhan Newton (FR): 12 tackles, 1 sack

Seth Coleman (FR): 7 tackles, 1 sack

LB:

Tarique Barnes (SO): 16 tackles

Calvin Hart (SO): 6 tackles, 1 sack

Ezekiel Holmes (SO): 3 tackles

DB:

Devon Witherspoon (SO): 20 tackles, 7 passes defended

Linebacker looks to be a relative bright spot for us moving forward. Other than that there isn't much to say on defense. We really don't have many underclassman seeing the field to be excited about.
 
#138      
Arkansas destroyed Texas last night. Arkansas was rated 120th in the FBS for sacks allowed last year year. Is it about the Jimmies and the Joe's or X's and the O's.........Or is just damn hard to implement a new system regardless of scheme, talent and experience?
 
#139      
I watched Bret Bielema start out good at Arkansas and season by season see the decline. He is a coach without a real philosophy of football that he can enunciate. He depends totally on his coordinators, has zero concern about special teams, and isn’t a driver regarding stamina. His teams at Arkansas became notorious for taking leads to the half and running out of steam and getting whipped. He is not a turnaround kind of coach.
How do you come up with nonsensical comments like this? So you’re saying he won three Big Ten Championships at Wisconsin but he has no coaching philosophy and doesn’t require his players to be in good enough physical condition to play four quarters of football? Ummm that’s just BS dude! He’s coached under Hayden Fry, Bill Snyder, Kirk Ference, and Barry Alvarez. He’s also spent some time with Bill Belichick. These gentlemen are HOFers. Get REAL! Bielema knows how to recruit and coach a college football team. He needs to have a chance to do his job. I believe he will and the ILLINI will succeed.
 
#140      
Bethesda, Maryland
How do you come up with nonsensical comments like this? So you’re saying he won three Big Ten Championships at Wisconsin but he has no coaching philosophy and doesn’t require his players to be in good enough physical condition to play four quarters of football? Ummm that’s just BS dude! He’s coached under Hayden Fry, Bill Snyder, Kirk Ference, and Barry Alvarez. He’s also spent some time with Bill Belichick. These gentlemen are HOFers. Get REAL! Bielema knows how to recruit and coach a college football team. He needs to have a chance to do his job. I believe he will and the ILLINI will succeed.
Forget it, IlliniSon. It's Razorback-town.

jack-nicholson-forget-it-jake.gif
 
#141      
I could not disagree more with your evaluation of Bielema as a coach. I see him putting in the work and doing the right things to revive a program left for dead. I hoped for better results so far this season, but we are playing with last years team and it’s becoming more and more clear that the talent is just not there to compete. This team has little to no depth and can not afford injuries and we’ve lost more key players every game. It’s his job to improve that talent and depth. That’s his biggest challenge imo. He knows how to win, but can he bring in the players to execute it? I’m optimistic based on his experience and his work ethic.
This team had the talent, two years ago, to go to a bowl game, beat MSU, and beat WI. The team today still has most of that talent. Lovie played a D that can't be played at the college level and wanted to pound the ball into the ground. Two major failures on his part. BB wants to pound it on the ground also and I don't see him doing anything with his D either. After nine months, we can't blame a lack of hustle on Lovie. Nine months is more than enough time to ingrain hustle into athletes.
 
#142      
RB:

Reggie Love (FR): 24 ATT, 83 YDS, 3.5 AVG, 0 TD

12 game projection- 96 ATT, 332 YDS

Jakari Norwood (SO): 11 ATT, 77 YDS, 7.0 AVG, 0 TD

12 game projection- 44 ATT, 308 YDS

Chase Brown (SO): 12 ATT, 65 YDS, 5.4 AVG, 1 TD

12 game projection- 48 ATT, 260 YDS, 4 TD

Josh McCray (FR): 12 ATT, 49 YDS, 4.1 AVG, 0 TD

12 game projection- 48 ATT, 196 YDS

4 of our top 5 RBs are underclassman so we are set at this position for a few years. If there is any position to be excited about moving forward it's this one.
I actually don’t find this reassuring at all. Four guys that can’t break 100 yards in 3 games and we’re on pace for less than 1100 yards RB rushing. That tells me that we have depth but not a stud. It’s like the saying that if you have two quarterbacks you really don’t have one.

I know there are a lot of reasons for the low numbers (behind in games, bad OL play) and that the game is different than it was 10 years ago. But Mendenhall rushed for 640 as a sophomore in 2006 and Leshoure for 734 as a sophomore in 2009. Those both outpace Love by almost twice. I mean Leshoure rushed for 330 in a single game against Northwestern. Do you honestly see any of these RBs doing that?

How many of these guys would be RB1 or RB2 at any of the ranked teams in the B10? For that matter how many of our skill players? Our talent is still the same as the same as last year, just older.
 
#143      
This team had the talent, two years ago, to go to a bowl game, beat MSU, and beat WI. The team today still has most of that talent. Lovie played a D that can't be played at the college level and wanted to pound the ball into the ground. Two major failures on his part. BB wants to pound it on the ground also and I don't see him doing anything with his D either. After nine months, we can't blame a lack of hustle on Lovie. Nine months is more than enough time to ingrain hustle into athletes.
That team got beat by Eastern Michigan and was never in that game. They trailed the entire game against Wisconsin and Michigan State, winning both of those games on the last play. Neither Wisky or MSU could hang on to the ball and Dantonio had some really questionable play calls that allowed us to come back from 24 down. That team could/should have easily been 4-8 with Lovie getting fired. I’m more inclined to think this is a team of guys that’s lost twice as many games as they’ve won in the last 5 years and has no chance to beat teams like Wisky and MSU every year without a ton of luck.
 
#144      
How do you come up with nonsensical comments like this? So you’re saying he won three Big Ten Championships at Wisconsin but he has no coaching philosophy and doesn’t require his players to be in good enough physical condition to play four quarters of football? Ummm that’s just BS dude! He’s coached under Hayden Fry, Bill Snyder, Kirk Ference, and Barry Alvarez. He’s also spent some time with Bill Belichick. These gentlemen are HOFers. Get REAL! Bielema knows how to recruit and coach a college football team. He needs to have a chance to do his job. I believe he will and the ILLINI will succeed.
There are many coaches that have been involved in a successful system but do not know the heart of the system and are not able to redeploy it. A coach also needs the support of all around him and even some good luck to establish sustained success.

BB has been deeply involved in successful systems and cultures. So he has been a part of success and should understand what it takes. Additionally, he seems to be a smart guy that hates to lose.

BB has the pedigree, but biggest question for me is whether or not he is willing/able to put in the work and time to be the example of high standards to his assistants and players that is needed for a rebuild.
 
#145      
I actually don’t find this reassuring at all. Four guys that can’t break 100 yards in 3 games and we’re on pace for less than 1100 yards RB rushing. That tells me that we have depth but not a stud. It’s like the saying that if you have two quarterbacks you really don’t have one.

I know there are a lot of reasons for the low numbers (behind in games, bad OL play) and that the game is different than it was 10 years ago. But Mendenhall rushed for 640 as a sophomore in 2006 and Leshoure for 734 as a sophomore in 2009. Those both outpace Love by almost twice. I mean Leshoure rushed for 330 in a single game against Northwestern. Do you honestly see any of these RBs doing that?

How many of these guys would be RB1 or RB2 at any of the ranked teams in the B10? For that matter how many of our skill players? Our talent is still the same as the same as last year, just older.
I don't see too much value in comparing to past eras for the reasons you referenced. The median yard per carry in 2009 was 4.3. Illinois was slightly above average that year at 4.5.

So far this year the median YPC is 3.7, likely due to the extra year of eligibility helping defenses more than offenses among other factors. Just to put it in perspective we are at 3.9 so far.
 
#146      
I heard BB say twice in the press conference that the performance was unacceptable.

He won’t sustainably recruit high talent without first starting to build a winning culture. A winning culture is founded on establishing and maintaining performance standards. When I played if a player’s performance was unacceptable then they were told on Monday in front of the team that they were not starting the next game and would have to earn their job back. The high character, winning culture players respond. They work harder, they run harder, they hit harder. BB needs to find his winning culture guys to start building a team around. If he does not then we’ll see more of the same.

it is disappointing to have a team with so many seniors start and finish a game like that. It sure appears that there are not many winning culture players. Will BB find the players that respond and meet his performance standards? The talent difference is not 42-14 stark with Virginia. If it is, then what have these players been doing for 4 years to develop themselves? Not all of that is on Lovie.
Lmao I was referring to the Arkansas fan boy in here talking trash on BB. I believe BB will get it right
 
#148      
Forgottonia
BB has the pedigree, but biggest question for me is whether or not he is willing/able to put in the work and time to be the example of high standards to his assistants and players that is needed for a rebuild.
It’s been said that he arrives at work at 5:30 AM and doesn’t leave until 10-11 at night. I don’t think his work ethic is questionable.
 
#149      
Frankly, if you look at our history we've been basically doing this 'rebuild, fire, hire, rebuild' stuff since the late 1950's... Since Ray Eliot retired in 1959, we've had 14 coaches (now 15), and we're still looking for that 'genie in the bottle' to help us be a winner... Yes, Mike White was a winner (40-26–2) as was Mackovic (22-9–1), but all that success was short lived. A successful and sustainable college football program has eluded us since Bob Zuppke retired in 1941...

We're Illinois... We don't deserve to be good in football. (Sad face)
We did have a 15 year stretch of pretty consistent success from 81-95. 2 big 10 titles and 3 losing records, on of which was 5-6 and would have been 7-4 with competent officiating.
 
#150      
Gurnee
It’s been said that he arrives at work at 5:30 AM and doesn’t leave until 10-11 at night. I don’t think his work ethic is questionable.
I like how he has built his staff with some former coaches and players that have been at other programs. I think BB (and JW) will get this right - solid from the ground up.

Look forward to the weekly adjustments in personnel and scheme to keep this moving in the right direction from a culture perspective as well as on-the-field performance.