Friday, October 02, 2009

An obligatory look at Illinois

About the University

"Illinois Industrial University" was established in 1867 and opened its doors in March 2, 1868 with only two faculty members. In 1885, the Illinois Industrial University officially changed its name to the University of Illinois, reflecting its holistic agricultural, mechanical, and liberal arts curricula. The name of the university was changed to The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982, ostensibly to establish a separate identity for the campus within the University of Illinois system.

Cool Fact

The U of I is one of the few educational institutions to own an airport. Willard Airport, named for former University of Illinois president Arthur Cutts Willard, is located in Savoy. It was completed in 1945 and began service in 1954. Willard Airport is home to University research projects and the University's Institute of Aviation, along with flights from American and Northwest Airlines.

With scores like these, Mr. Burns we'll need an Airport

Football related datum

Current Record: 1 – 2 – only win over FCS Illinois St
Last year's Record: 5 – 7

The scary side of things

The fighting [non-offensive-mascots] rank third in the conference in rushing and tackles for loss. Jason Ford leads the team but a lot of guys chip in including Juice Williams who is second on the team in rushing. With 76 yards, Juice will become the Illinois career total offensive leader. Arrelious Benn has been a Nittany Lion killer catching 110 yards last year and 84 yards as a freshman including a 90-yard kickoff return for a TD. No need to worry though, Joe's happy with our kick coverage.


Moving on…

The not-so-scary side of things

Wow, where to begin? Juice has been squeezed all season long completing only 31 passes for 256 yards, no touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The Suckeyes shut the fighting Zookers out last week, without the aid of a pass in the entire first half (apparently throwing the ball is sooooo 2008). With the exception of the TFL and rushing defense, Illinois ranks 10th or 11th in every other defensive category. Offensively they are allowing over three sacks per game and are dead last in passing and scoring offense. This is a far cry from the team that was the best passing offense in the conference a year ago. A lot of "experts" were picking Illinois as a dark horse in the Big Ten race because of the returning offense and that hasn't worked out for them too well.

Game Outlook

With the problems on the offensive line and the turnover issues, I expect Dr. Paterno to prescribe his typical medication for the road: bottled up conservative offense. We'll see lots of Evan Royster even though Illinois will blitz everything including the kitchen sink. I expect a low scoring slugfest that will be won on a crucial back-breaking turnover. Who coughs the ball up is anybody's guess. Paterno will lean on his defense and we'll all throw up a little in our mouths.

TNL's Prediction

Penn State 17
Illinois 10

1 comment:

Host Pay Per Head said...

haha I love that image of Mr Burns, The Simpsons is one of my favorite shows of all time