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Say hello to the Big Ten’s worst team

October 19, 2009
At least one Illini fan is having fun.

At least one Illini fan is having fun.

As I left work Saturday night, I couldn’t help but see a group of jubilant Iowa fans walking the streets of Chicago. It looked like they were having the most fun ever celebrating their team’s victory over Wisconsin. Then there was some jerk walking around in a Michigan hat with a grin so wide it looked like he had just discovered he could poop money (Congrats on beating Delaware State. Big win for the program).

But then came the death blow: Indiana fans on the EL train…(sigh)…having fun.

That should have been me and every other Illinois alum in Chicago. Those idiots were happy about Indiana FOOTBALL. My god, what has Ron Zook done?

After a 27-14 loss on Saturday night, the Illini (1-5, 0-4) are now at the bottom of the Big Ten gang bang, which is not the place to be…unless you’re in to that short of thing.

This most recent embarrassment, coupled with Purdue upsetting then-No. 7 Ohio State, leaves no doubt that Illinois is the worst team in the conference. Here we go again.

That being said, I had some thoughts on the game that I’d like to share with you in no particular order:

-Juice Williams had two fumbles that basically sealed the game for the Hoosiers. Still, Juice had a decent game going 22-for-37 with 258 yards passing and 2 TDs (he also had 54 yards rushing). Unfortunately he was the victim of bad timing and an inability to string passes together for sustainable drives.

-Daniel Dufrene had 10 carries, which is 10 too many for me. Mikel LeShoure was averaging 6.5 yards per carry but only touched the ball 12 times. Where or where can we find some extra touches for Mikel? Hmmmmm.

-A friend asked me if I thought Rejus Benn was regretting his decision to come to Illinois yet. Although I agreed Benn hasn’t done much since the last time Illinois played Indiana (that was Benn’s most recent TD reception), I think he is in a fairly good situation at Ilinois. Many draft experts seem to think Benn will be a first round pick in the upcoming NFL draft based only on his size and speed. At another school (like Notre Dame) Benn might been overshadowed by his teammates. Only at Illinois can you do practically nothing and still be the best player on the field. Still, it was nice to see Benn get in on the action with 9 catches and 95 yards receiving against Indiana. He might not score much anymore, but the offense will miss his presence when he’s gone.

-These young defensive backs make me want to stab myself in the eyes, but we might as well get all the bad stuff out of the way while we can. These guys have been making mistakes all season and Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell looked like Sam McTebowford against them. BUT there is a lot of potential in that secondary for the future. Give them a year or two and that might be the strength of this team. Of course the front 7 will suck by then, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Well that’s all I got. It will be interesting to see what kind of changes Zook  makes this week. At this point, the only real thing he can do is put in 3rd string QB Jacob Charest…which is essentially a white flag.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 20, 2009 3:24 am

    It would be interesting to me if you could draw some parallels between the life cycles of the careers of both Ron Turner and Ron Zook as head coaches at Illinois. They both reach a major bowl (Sugar, Rose), get destroyed in that bowl, get an extension to their contract regardless, and then have losing seasons from then on out.

    Maybe Ron Zook can find a nice cushy coaching job on the Bears staff.

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