Some Thoughts on the Offense April 30, 2009
1. Mike Schultz preaches balance. Says he never wants to exceed 60/40 in either direction. Which means we’ll never, ever see another second half of the Western Michigan game where we ran the ball 7 times out of 41 plays. We came out after halftime, ran the ball on 3 of 8 plays on a long touchdown drive…. and then passed on every play but 4 the rest of the way while they blitzed to their heart’s content.
But I’m a LeShoure guy now. I’ll dig out my son’s #5 jersey, see if it still fits him, and make him wear it to a game next year. He just looked different this spring, both on video and in person. Watch the run at the 1:48 mark of this video and tell me he’s not ready to be a feature back:
3. I think that Juice and the wideouts are the most known entity going into a season that we’ve had in a long time. Juice will be great, not outstanding. He’ll hit 6 of 7 passes on a 48 second touchdown drive, and then skip a pass to an open Benn on third and 5 the next drive. But, overall, he’ll have his best season. And last year was pretty good.
As for our receivers, they’re a great mix of size (Cumberland, Hoo-man), strength (Benn), shiftiness (Jenkins, Duvalt, Ramsey), and YAC (Fayson). I’m not worried about the position at all.
4. Offensive line is the position that keeps me up at night, worried about my 10-2 prediction. So much is unknown.
- I wasn’t an Eric Block fan last fall. Will he improve?
- I wanted Randall Hunt to be starting over Block, but when he was asked at a press conference, Zook said he’s “not there yet”. I certainly hope he’s there this year.
- How will the tackles shake out? As of now, it looks like Allen at LT and Palmer at RT. How strong will they be? Is Corey Lewis ready to go if either gets injured?
- The only known entity is Jon Asamoah. I stated on after the PSU game in ’07 that Asamoah would be First Team All Big Ten his senior season. I still believe that.
5. Overall, I’m encouraged. It’s been a long time since we’ve had this much experience coming back on offense. If I’m an outsider being told that Illinois will be have a senior staring his 4th year at QB and talented, experienced depth at wideout and running back, I’d think that you’d have a pretty consistent offense. Add in that you have a couple receivers who will be playing on Sundays and, well, it looks pretty good on paper.
6. 184 days.