Virginia 42, Illinois 14 Postgame

#151      
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.
 
#152      
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.
 
#153      
Offense shows some sparks of life at times, special teams have been stellar this season, but defense is absolutely atrocious. Poor tackling technique, a totally porous secondary that does not understand the basics of pass coverage, and no pass rush. Just unwatchable. BB and staff have a total program rebuild on their hands. This season is a loss.
 
#156      
Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
Maybe those 2 games would've meant the difference between us being perennial bottom feeders or not. I guess we'll never known.
Ron Guenther was the difference between us being perennial bottom feeders or not. There's a pretty clear trend line from pre-Guenther to Guenther. I'd love to lay the full blame on Mike Thomas, but the culture had already been established under Guenther.
 
#157      
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Ron Guenther was the difference between us being perennial bottom feeders or not. There's a pretty clear trend line from pre-Guenther to Guenther. I'd love to lay the full blame on Mike Thomas, but the culture had already been established under Guenther.
I winced when I read that. It's a brutal truth. When Mackovic left at the end of 1991 we lost more than an excellent football coach. We lost a very able AD, too, as he had been doing both jobs. Was RG promoted from an asst AD position? He was interim AD in '88 after Stoner left.
 
#158      
Paducah, Ky

Boyd: Emotions boil over with 'unacceptable' penalties in Illinois' lopsided loss at Virginia​

Ever since Illinois coach Bret Bielema was hired in December, he's repeatedly mentioned that "penalties, mental errors and turnovers" are the easiest ways to lose games.
All three were on full display in the Illini's 42-14 loss at Virginia on Saturday, just days after Bielema drove that point home again during his weekly Monday press conference.

Illinois committed two turnovers, one interception and one fumble. But the perhaps the biggest issue Bielema addressed following his team's second straight loss was its lack of composure. The Illini racked up eight penalties for 90 yards, including three 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct fouls in the second half.

"Completely unacceptable, especially some of the reactions late in the game that we can't have," Bielema said in his post-game press conference
This week is different. In my opinion, it marks the first real adversity the Illini have faced during Bielema's nine-month tenure. They were hit squarely in the mouth by Virginia, which never let up, and I'm interested to see how the team responds not only performance-wise, but character-wise after a such a humbling defeat.

Will Illinois show more composure than it did Saturday or will hotheaded outbursts become a trend as the season continues?

-----------------------------------------------------------

sigh................................................
 
#159      
Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
I winced when I read that. It's a brutal truth. When Mackovic left at the end of 1991 we lost more than an excellent football coach. We lost a very able AD, too, as he had been doing both jobs. Was RG promoted from an asst AD position? He was interim AD in '88 after Stoner left.
This article provides some history on Guenther's history with the Illinois DIA. Interesting that he was ousted from his fundraising post over improper use of funds. We might have had a dramatically different football history had Bob Todd been selected rather than Guenther.



While Mackovik was a perfectly serviceable HC/AD hybrid, I think Stoner before him did a remarkable job coming out of the doldrums of the 70s, giving the middle finger to the Big Ten over Dave Wilson's eligibility, and turning the Illini into a solid program under White and Mac. Apologies for the salty language in the SI article.

 
#160      
I’m here as an Arkansas fan who endured our years with Bret Bielema. I hate to tell you this but you won’t see much better than this right now; you future will be disappointing until he is fired and collects another big buyout.

I was excited when he came to Arkansas. I thought his emphasis on line play and O line development at Wisconsin would serve Arkansas well in the SEC. He came in with three Rose Bowl rings and my Big Ten friends were flabbergasted he left for Arkansas. He came in though with unbridled arrogance and got his head handed to him.

He immediately alienated the high school coaches in Texas, Arkansas’ primary recruiting grounds since Frank Broyles. He then butted heads with other SEC coaches, painting a target on himself. As he saw how hard it would be to just be a competitive program in the SEC he lost his way. He put little effort into recruiting in a part of the country where mamas expect to see Nick Saban and Ed Orgeron in their living rooms. He polished his party side and often arrived at games looking like he had closed the bars. He had a reality TV show.

Bielema is simply lazy and not self motivating. Arkansas learned without a Barry Alvarez busting his !!! he would simply slow down. He hated the heat, and so would allow the offensive linemen to have days off from outdoor practices or weight lifting. Any good coach down here in Texas knows that stamina in the heat and humidity is the best weapon any team can possess.

So a couple of years in New England and with the Giants don’t seem to have changed him. Good luck with this guy. 5 wins a year is Bret doing ok.
Coach Bielema did not have a good run at Arkansas. His record bears that out. One thing to note, however, is that Bielema did not bring his offensive staff to Arkansas. (Paul Chryst had been his OC, but Chryst took the entire offensive staff with him when he was hired to be the head coach at Pitt.)
 
#161      
Coach Bielema did not have a good run at Arkansas. His record bears that out. One thing to note, however, is that Bielema did not bring his offensive staff to Arkansas. (Paul Chryst had been his OC, but Chryst took the entire offensive staff with him when he was hired to be the head coach at Pitt.)
Bielema went 29-34 playing against Alabama Auburn, LSU and all of the other SEC schools. Granted, not a “good run” per se but wasnt a complete abomination either. I think he can build a team that can compete with Iowa, Wisconsin and Northwestern.
 
#162      
I thought we had won a few pretty impressive recruiting battles recently? Natural for it to start slow and technically be worse overall…
What are you guys talking about? First off, most of last year's recruiting class was already signed by the time BB was hired. Second, it is not reasonable to expect the two-deep depth chart to be filled with true freshmen, especially this year when there are far more than the usual number of upper classmen.
 
#163      
I don’t know how good UVA is this year. We need to figure out the Dline and the secondary.
I think we have a decent QB for the future and our RBs are good. Team needs to refocus but the rest of the schedule looks tough Charlotte and Rutgers might be the only winnable games but Charlotte beat Duke. Football is a lot harder to turn around than basketball but I like our coach
Virginia, like UTSA the week before, had WAY MORE SPEED at the skill positions -- on both sides of the ball.

Illinois DBs could not run with Virginia WRs AND TE's -- E.g., Virginia TE #0 was THE BIGGEST GUY ON THE FIELD BY FAR (a legit NFL draft pick), and Illinois DBs could not run with him. He caught everything thrown his way.
 
#164      
It was a game of Men vs boys.

I can recall back when we were consistently good (i.e. when we beat Ohio State 5 times in a row in the late 1980's) we looked similar to the opposing team on the field - physically. We belonged. That wasn't the case Saturday. It looked like Division I vs Division III.

UVA's offensive line manhandled us. And their receivers looked NFL ready. I had to google Jelani Woods when I got home from the game. He looked to be 6'9 on the field, with great hands. QB Armstrong was constantly throwing to wide open receivers in the middle of the field who were on the move 20 yards downfield. Conversely, we ran 5 yard come-back routes in front of the defensive backs.

I don't blame Bielema for that.
I attended the game. Virginia TE #0 is the real deal. He'll be drafted, no doubt. He was, by far, the biggest dude on the field.

Illinois lacks speed at the skill positions. Illinois' DBs could not keep up with ANY of the Virginia's receivers, TEs included.
 
#165      
I clearly see that BB has a plan, but we don't have the players/depth to do it. Our secondary can't run with anyone and we are going to get torched because we can't get any pressure. Our OL isn't pushing people around and if we can't stay ahead of the chains we aren't going to win either. We are building a system and saying damn the results if we don't show it this year or the next, we want the kids coming in now to be ready in a few years. It sucks, but we have sucked for years. I can withstand another 2-3 to give BB a chance.
Doug Kramer (C) played hurt, and only played half the game. He's a good player who anchors the interior. Illinois seems to be doing a lot of rotating at guard--presumably to keep guys fresh to offset the fact they are undersized. (Recall the new staff added two FCS guards from the portal--a pretty good indicator that the cupboard was not well stocked with talent ready to go.) They also inserted a freshman to the guard rotation mix at Virginia. The starting tackles appear to be decent Big Ten players, but there seems to be little depth.

But the biggest issue last week was that Illinois could not throw effectively downfield--either because the RBs and WRs couldn't gain separation or the QB couldn't (or wouldn't) get the ball to them (whether due to lack of arm strength or unduly cautious decision-making). As a result, Virginia tee'd off on the running game. Bronco Mendenhall runs a type of junk defense that is designed to stop the run anyway. When your offense doesn't demonstrate the capability to pass downfield, it has no way to loosen that defense up. Five O-linemen cannot block 7 or 8 defenders in the box consistently.
 
#166      
What a great start to this football season. Illini and bears are slaughtered. Niu did a valiant comeback against Wyoming.

But the good news is that Dekalb high school beat Belleville west 45-6 Friday night!! Go barbs!

Just guess which teams I will follow this week.
 
Last edited:
#167      
What a great start to this football season. Illini and bears are slaughtered. Niu did a valiant comeback against Wyoming.

But the good news is that Dekalb high school beat Belleville west 45-6 Friday night!! Go barbs!

Just guess which teams I will follow this week.
all 4 again since this has been standard procedure for a while and you're still here.
 
#169      
This article provides some history on Guenther's history with the Illinois DIA. Interesting that he was ousted from his fundraising post over improper use of funds. We might have had a dramatically different football history had Bob Todd been selected rather than Guenther.
You are not reading that correctly. Stoner was the person who misappropriated funds and was dismissed.
 
#170      
Gurnee
Doug Kramer (C) played hurt, and only played half the game. He's a good player who anchors the interior. Illinois seems to be doing a lot of rotating at guard--presumably to keep guys fresh to offset the fact they are undersized. (Recall the new staff added two FCS guards from the portal--a pretty good indicator that the cupboard was not well stocked with talent ready to go.) They also inserted a freshman to the guard rotation mix at Virginia. The starting tackles appear to be decent Big Ten players, but there seems to be little depth.

But the biggest issue last week was that Illinois could not throw effectively downfield--either because the RBs and WRs couldn't gain separation or the QB couldn't (or wouldn't) get the ball to them (whether due to lack of arm strength or unduly cautious decision-making). As a result, Virginia tee'd off on the running game. Bronco Mendenhall runs a type of junk defense that is designed to stop the run anyway. When your offense doesn't demonstrate the capability to pass downfield, it has no way to loosen that defense up. Five O-linemen cannot block 7 or 8 defenders in the box consistently.
Who was the freshman G that play d against UVA? Missed that
 
#171      
Ron Guenther was the difference between us being perennial bottom feeders or not. There's a pretty clear trend line from pre-Guenther to Guenther. I'd love to lay the full blame on Mike Thomas, but the culture had already been established under Guenther.
Like many athletes before him, Guenther went through the Coaching Curriculum in the College of Physical Education at the University. Though most will deny it, that is where the university stashed their athletes who weren't interested in academics. They also sent a steady stream of 'coaches' into high schools across the state who were loyal to their state school. The P.E. Department dropped that concentration in the late 80s which had a negative impact on the school's athletic programs. Clearly, there are many things that have brought us to where we are today and Ron Guenther probably had a hand in it. In his defense, he inherited a mess from the Stoner era. Stoner had just been fired. The department was bleeding red ink. Basketball was on probation from the Deon Thomas fiasco. Football had just gone through sanctions a second time from the White era. Augie Garrido. who had resurrected the baseball program. left because Stoner was fired. Big Ten Faculty Reps. were still pissed off after the courts overruled their penalties against Dave Wilson and granted him eligibility. Illinois faculty were concerned with White's past and the staff that he brought to Illinois from other rogue programs (Arizona State and Oregon with their own academic irregularities).
 
#173      
Stoner was the person who misappropriated funds and was dismissed.
In Stoner's defense...

father-ted-resting-in-my-account.gif
 
#174      
Great post. Like someone eluded to the other day, it seems like this staff is going after mean, football players. The wrestling in other sport types. Instead of chasing the freak athlete who doesn't show a ton of football IQ/grit. Much like the Underwood rebuild these upperclassmen are not gonna be the ones to get it done. We all know Underwood basically had to clean house to start winning.The numbers in football are much greater than hoops so you will see a larger number of undererclassmen that are a part of coach Bs rebuild. Lovies most talented class(Williams,Beason,Cooper) are still freshmen and sophomores so I don't think the cupboard is completely empty. The secondary is very thin and it seems that all the good safeties and corners are going to top programs. We need to get a couple top 500 players on the back end of the defense soon. Actually, some pass rush would help also. Hard to be a db today when the qb has 4-5 seconds to just camp in the pocket and throw.
I really thought the Williams/Beason/Cooper class was going to be the start of something, but recruiting just seemed to tank after that year.
 
#175      
I clearly see that BB has a plan, but we don't have the players/depth to do it. Our secondary can't run with anyone and we are going to get torched because we can't get any pressure. Our OL isn't pushing people around and if we can't stay ahead of the chains we aren't going to win either. We are building a system and saying damn the results if we don't show it this year or the next, we want the kids coming in now to be ready in a few years. It sucks, but we have sucked for years. I can withstand another 2-3 to give BB a chance.
I agree the thought is likely “damn the results” this season, but my wallet is hopeful we might win 3.5 games before we decide the results don’t matter.