Illinois Football Daily Bullets

Illinois Basketball Daily Bullets

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Herbstreit and Musberger's post-game analysis (Illinois vs. Michigan 2007)

What do you think of Herbstreit and Musberger's analysis? I can't wait till they come back for another Saturday prime time game. I see many more in the future. Despite the loss, I still think the program is on the rise. Big time.

Check out this video...

Watch this video, taken by a fan (from Illinoisloyalty.com), that shows some of the pre-game and the first series of the Illinois-Michigan game. Wow, the stadium was really electric for the game. The two F-16's flying over with their afterburners on was especially cool. It would have been absolute mayhem if they'd pulled it out somehow. Maybe in 2009.......

What they're saying heading in to the Ball St. game

Here's a look around the wires to see what the buzz is heading in to Homecoming this weekend:

The Orange and Blue News provides a great summary every week of Zook's weekly press conference. Here it is.

The Tribune has an article about how Zook is working to improve Special Teams after their disastarous performance against Michigan. Not too much news here, though, except for Zook's statement that he'd like to have Vontae Davis and Arrelious Benn return all kick-offs. But then he made a bunch of excuses as to why that can't happen-- Davis gets tired, and he's worried about Rejus getting injured. Uhhhhh.....I don't get this one.

The Pantagraph has a good article about how Ball St. is no push-over team. They have a potent offense. Their QB has thrown 20 touchdowns and only 3 picks, and his favorite receiver has 55 receptions, 7 for touchdowns. Yikes. This is going to be a real test for our defense, especially our secondary. It's going to be a good game Saturday. In my opinion, the biggest thing we're going to have to watch out for is an emotional let-down after the Michigan game. Zook teams don't have a good history of responding well the week after an emotional game. Time to turn over a new leaf here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Now this is a truly, truly dirty play......

Glenn Dorsey is a beast! That would have been a shame if his knee had been blown out by that totally dirty and unnecessary chop block. Shame on Auburn for that one. That player should have been ejected from the game, if the official saw that one. There's no place for that in college football.

Zook keeps up recruiting magic; lands one of nation's top senior WR's


Well, Ron Zook says recruiting is just like shaving. You have to wake up and do it every day. He's definitely living up to that motto. Illinois just landed one of the nation's top wide receivers-- Fred Sykes, from Chamberlain High School in Tampa Bay, Fl.


Nice.

The buzz (or lack thereof)....after Michigan


The Illinois-Michigan game was a classic example of a disciplined team beating an un-disciplined team. Illinois had all the effort and emotion that they needed. What they didn't have was the discipline that would have enabled them to channel that emotion into better execution. The result: penalties and a dropped punt reception that led directly to Illinois' defeat. Nevertheless, things are still looking up at Illinois. After a loss like that, it helps to remember where we were last year at this time. So, chin up, Illini fans. The chance for 8 wins is still out there, and that would mean a decent bowl berth. Here's what's on the wires today:

Is there a quarterback controversy at Illinois? Ron Zook says no, but then goes on to explain that Juice will start, but that he'll probably still share time with McGee. And he says that McGee will get more and more time as he gets better and better. Okay, now I'm really confused.


John Supinie of the Peoria Journal Star tries to keep a positive outlook in this article on the Illini's prospects for the remainder of the season. He notes how down Illinois fans were after the Michigan loss, but reminds fans of how far the team has come since the doldrums of the last five seasons.


This Daily Illini editorial very eloquently slams Zook for what it calls his "Quarterback Carousel". It compares the way he switched out Juice and McGee to a restless baseball manager who keeps pulling pitchers off the mound. I must say, I have to agree with this article. Illinois has really got itself into a pickle with this quarterback situation. Juice is the face of the team, and he's been instrumental to the recruiting boon that Zook has been able to pull off the last few seasons. Now, it appears to everyone that McGee should get the call. But what happens to Juice then? Would he transfer? Or change positions? Who knows. But I know one of the reasons Zook is sticking with Juice is that he made certain promises to him in order to get him to come here. At what point will Zook call Juice in to the office and tell him that he has to go with the guy that gives him the best chance to win?


Well, that's about it for the buzz around the Illini this week so far. As you can see, the " noise in the system", as Zook likes to call it, has died off quite a bit. That's what happens when you lose twice in a row! Nevertheless, as I've stated already, it's important to keep perspective. I think the goal for this team should be 8 wins. That means we win out, except for the Ohio state game. Very achievable. We just have to beat Ball St., Minnesota, and Northwestern. Very achievable.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One last look in the rearview mirror at Iowa

Okay, so it was a pretty darn heartbreaking loss on Saturday. 10 - 6 to a really bad Iowa team. So what does that make Illinois? Well, on Saturday, the Illini were also really bad. Here are the biggest weaknesses I see in this team after that game:

- No Passing Game! Let's face it...when Juice is in at quarterback, our passing game is virtually non-existant. The weird "Veer Option" that they run fooled people during the first 6 games, but Iowa had enough game tape to watch, and were able to shut the Illini offense down. Two options if the Illini want to win more than 7 games this season: Teach Juice to pass (quick) or insert McGee as the starter. The problem is, Juice is the face of the program and was instrumental in re-opening the Public League to recruiting. So it puts Zook in a tight corner with recruiting. But ultimately, you have to win. The best player needs to play.

- Coaching decisions during the game. I don't want to beat a dead horse here. We all know Zook should have declined those penalties on Saturday. Problem is, I'm not sure he thinks he should have. And that's kind of scary, to be honest. I mean, I really think he thinks he made the right call.

That's it for now. I just got a sick feeling thinking about how close we came to winning that sucker..... even though Iowa fully deserved the W.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In case you missed it....here's the ESPN GAMEDAY segment on Zook from last Saturday

A clip of Jeff Jordan's first basket as an Illini



Check out the above clip. It's about 30 seconds of action from the Illini basketball team's trip to Canada for their pre-season exhibition tour. Why did I post it? It shows Jeff Jordan's first basket as an Illini. I didn't know he was a lefty. He's only 6'1", but he's got hops just like his old man.

Watch Erin Andrews paint an Illini nose!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The MichiganZone defends the Illini in its "Top 25 Re-evaluation"!

Listen up Illini fans! You're not going to BELIEVE this! Our friend Yost, over at the MichiganZone, puts up a very good argument about how the AP and coaches top 25 is pretty much skewed toward teams that get pre-season media hype. The blog post includes some legit props that are handed out to the Fighting Illini. It's a must read for Illini Fans!

Wednesday's Illini Chatter

We thought it'd be fun to take a run through the media maelstrom that has hit Illinois Football and Ron Zook this week. Here goes:

Matt Hayes of the Sporting News examines Illinois' meteoric rise in this article. It's another one of the many incredulous looks at Zook's recruiting magic, which he has now turned in to magic on the field. Yep, of course there's discussion of Zook's tears following the Wisconsin game!

The Sun-Times talks about how Zook has the Illini Football team "flyin'" here in this article.

Are you wondering what Kirk Frerentz thinks of the job Ron Zook is doing at Illinois? If so, then you have to check out this article. Of course, Frerentz acts like he's not surprised that Illinois is suddenly an awesome team.

It looks like Zook's on the field success is going to help his bank account. Illinois is allegedly trying to lock him up through 2012. They're looking to bump his already over $1 million annual salary by a couple hundred thou' a year. Zook, of course, claims he's not sweating the contract stuff at all. He just wants to win, baby.

InsideIllini.com posted a decent article that attempts to analyze why the Illini are "so good" so far. The article is kind of all over the place. It hypes their young talent, especially Martez Wilson. It gives most of the credit for the team's success to good coaching and to the players being tired of being doormats, however. The article claims that the most important game of the season so far was the Syracuse game, and credits that game with being the catalyst for everything that has happened since.

Here's an article from the Daily Illini that says the Illini are in now way going to overlook the "stumbling" Hawkeyes. Let's hope not! Iowa REALLY stinks!

The Detroit Free Press has posted an article titled "The Big Tennys", in which it dishes out mid-season awards. Illinois earned the title of "Biggest Surprise". Surprise!

Mark Tupper (we call him the Tubby Tuppster) writes a hype article about Illinois' bowl projections. Tupp Doggy Dogg can't resist injecting that Rose Bowl hype. Awesome!

If you want Zook's take on Saturday's game at Iowa, here is a condensed version of this week's press conference.

As you can see, the media wires are just FLOODED with Illinois stories. It's about time! Many of them still express cynicism about Zook. Emphasis is on how he's a great recruiter, so good, in fact, that his talent gathering abilities make his "bad coaching" meaningless. I don't buy any of it! I mean, look at Charlie Weis over at Notre Dame. They've had some good recruits come in there over the last three years. And Weis is in his third year just like Zook. Yet Notre Dame is a miserable 1-5! I think it's high time Zook start getting some credit for his coaching as well as his recruiting. Maybe it's that stupid "swinging gate" thing he has the Illini do on extra points. Stop doing that play, Ron, and you'll start getting the credit you deserve!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

FLASH TRAFFIC! FLASH TRAFFIC! FLASH TRAFFIC! THE SPORTING NEWS ANNOINTS ILLINOIS AS BEST TEAM IN BIG TEN!

Wow. I'm actually almost speechless. Read this article folks. The national media now believes that Illinois is the best team in the Big Ten.

Ha Ha! I bet recruiting will really take off now! How long till the drum beats for a national title run?

Go Illini!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Biggest Game in a Loooonnnnngggg Time against Wisconsin


Well, guess what Illini fans. The snowball was rolled off the top of Mount Everest last weekend after the victory against Penn St. at home. That snowball has turned into an avalanche for the Illini football program. The national media is starting to pay attention folks. Check out this story by ESPN.com. If the Illini can somehow beat Wisconsin on Saturday, the avalanche will undoubtedly turn in to one of biblical proportions! Imagine how easy it'll be for Zook to convince recruits to come to Illinois then!


Now, if he would only stop doing that "swinging gate" thing on extra points.......


Go Illini! Beat the Sconnies!