Illinois Football Daily Bullets
Illinois Basketball Daily Bullets
Monday, September 24, 2007
"Watch out for Ron Zook"!!!!!!!!
I can't believe it! It's finally happening!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
1. Mark Tupper (Decatur-Herald & Review) writes a glowing article about the Illini post-Syracuse. He comments on how explosive the offense was, and how Juice seems to be coming in to his own. The one thing he doesn't address-- Juice's inability to find consistency in the passing game.
2. John Supinie of the Peoria Journal-Star writes about how the Illini are officially "trolling for a bowl". He points out that a win Saturday at Indiana would mean the Illini are halfway to bowl eligibility with 3 wins. Since they'll likely be favored later in the season against Ball St., Minnesota, and Northwestern, the possiblity of 6 wins seems well within grasp. That's IF, of course, they can beat the Hoosiers on the road Saturday.
3. John Decker from HoosierNation.com writes an article titles "5 days and counting" that breaks down some numbers going into Saturday's Indiana/Illinois Match-up. He places focus on Juice Williams' 60.5% completion rate so far this year, and also makes mention of the 8 true freshman who have played so far this year for the Illini. To be sure, he also mentions the number 2-- the total number of Big Ten wins the Illini have achieved in the last four years.
He also makes mention of how Illinois is 10th in the Big Ten in turnover differential, at -4. That number is a result of the 5 turnovers they experienced vs. Mizzou. Thus, his conclusion is that Illinois isn't really turning the ball over every game a ton-- but at the same time, they're not forcing turnoves either. Contrast this with Indiana's turnover ratio of +6. Yep, the Hoosiers have forced a total of 5 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries in the first three games. If that trend continues, it's going to be lights out for the Illini on Saturday.
Well, that's about all that's cookin' within the sports media on Tuesday before the Indiana game. So far, we're not getting much media attention beyond the usual local coverage, and the mandatory Chicago coverage. Look for things to pick up if Illinois beats Indiana. If that happens, the Illini are suddenly a true turn-around story.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Well, Pat Forde published a "slam" article against Ron Zook this week. I can't understand why so many people treat Zook like a punching bag. I think it all goes back to that infamous website that a "Debby Downer" Florida fan started as soon as the Gators hired Zook. I don't know. In my opinion, though, here's the case FOR Zook:
1. The guy can recruit, right up there with the best of them. There's no doubt about this one.
2. He has loaded the Illinois program with coaches much like himself-- they can all recruit just like he can. Mike Locksley deserves a lot of credit for snagging Aurrelious Benn and some of the other offensive stars that are wearing the Orange and Blue.
3. He's attempting to run the program with integrity. That's right-- he wasted no time in kicking Derrick McPhearson and Jody Ellis off the team when they were caught stealing laptops by Champaign Police.
4. He's demanding a high level of performance from his team, in only his third season-- despite still being in the midst of a HUGE re-building process. Yep-- Zook has put his foot down this season, and he's calling out players by name when they don't perform.
Some minor complaints about Zook:
Okay, we didn't really want to go here, but here are two minor complaints about Ron--
1. He runs up and down the sideline like a frenetic maniac throughout the entire football game. Wasn't it Vince Lombardi who talked about "Grace Under Pressure?"
2. He has the team do some sort of crazy "swinging gate" thing every time they kick an extra point. We just don't get this maneuver! I mean, why not just kick the extra point! Let's get the fundamentals down pat, and then, maybe, every once in a while, we can do something resembling a trick play.
All in all, those are minor complaints. I guess Zook is the Rodney Dangerfield of college football coaches. But, that is only to Illini outsiders. To IlliniNation, he's getting closer and closer to a blue-chip coach.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Nevertheless, we here at Illinispace maintain strong faith in Bruce Weber. He will lead Illinois back to basketball glory, there is no doubt about it.
Unfortunately, the Debbie Downers in IlliniNation will probably wave this article like a red flag, whining and crying and wailing.
I can't wait for the season to start, so that we can start talking about results on the court!
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Illini SHOULD win big against Western Illinois....that's SHOULD (just ask Michigan about "should"....)
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Saturday, September 1, 2007
You could see flashes of the explosive potential of Illinois' young talent. We actually forced some turnovers in this game! Eddie McGee wowed everyone with his poise and execution.....despite the fact that he had three turnovers. While he made the plays that cause the loss, he also made the plays that had Illinois in the game up to the last minute.
The most glaring weakness during the game, however, was Mizzou's ability to pass into the seam between Illinois' linebackers and their secondary. Mizzou was able to play pitch and catch for most of the game. Only late in the 4th quarter, when the defense started blitzing and getting pressure on the Missouri quarterback, did they have any success in shutting down their passing game.
All in all, it hurt to lose, but Illinois came out of this game on an upward glidepath.
Final note-- on that last pass by McGee that ended in an interception, it looked like he would have had Arrelious Benn wide open streaking to the endzone if he had just gone through his reads. But, hey, that was his first college game, ever.
Illinois could easily be 2-1 heading into week 4......all in all, the future looks brighter now than it did yesterday.