SOC – Penn State September 29, 2012
Blue helmets. BLUE. HELMETS.
I still can’t get over it. Pretty sure we went from leather to orange helmets. I want to say a number on the side in the 60′s, the arc Illini in the 70′s and 80′s, the slant ILLINOIS in the 90′s and 2000′s, and now, for the first time matte blue with an orange block I. Not just any block I. FAT I. I heart FAT I. It’s now at the center of our basketball court and our football field, and tomorrow it will be on our helmets. Mike Thomas said there’s a full rebrand coming in 2014 with new uniforms and logo and everything. Is this a hint at the helmet? Or will we do something completely different? I could talk about this for hours.
It will really feel weird cheering for the team in blue helmets. It’ll feel like we’re cheering for Rice or West Virginia or something. I’m guessing we’ll go all blue uniforms again. Or maybe blue tops orange pants. I’d like that – the standard 90′s home uni (blue top orange pants) with a matte blue helmet. Can’t wait to see how it looks in person.
OK, I nearly fell asleep writing that last paragraph. Like, seriously dozed off. I just went into the kitchen, drank a glass of water, and made myself a Nutella sandwich using the one single piece of bread in the house (an end, of course), and folded it for a mini Nutella sammich. This thing should be an hors d’ourve at some fancy party. I’d eat it. Man I really shouldn’t blog at one in the morning.
(Pretty sure I didn’t spell hors d’ourve correctly. But this is the SOC. And I can’t go back and edit or even look up the word because THOSE ARE THE RULES.)
THE GAME. Focus. I think this will be close. I think this will come down to the wire. I think our defense will be better, and I don’t think we’ll turn the ball over six times, and quite honestly we’re due to come out and look inspired. It’s been a rough month, what with the injuries and the blowouts and the six turnovers at home against a WAC school. I’d like to see us put a cap on this month with a performance that tells us a bowl isn’t out of the question.
What will we need to do that? How about four things.
1) Win the turnover battle. We’re 74th in turnover margin. Not awful, but still lower half of all FBS teams.
2) Develop a down-field passing game. I think Penn State’s front seven can give our offensive line fits, especially if Hugh Thornton and Graham Pocic are still out. So if we’re going to move the ball, it will need to be against their shaky secondary.
3) Win the field position battle. I don’t think this will be the snoozefest it was last year, but I also don’t think there will be many points scored in this game. Which means pinning them inside the 20 when we can will be key.
4) Play with heart. Our sideline looked so morbid during the second half of the Louisiana Tech game. If we’re going to wear all of this clothing with the word “ONE” on it, we need to maybe start fighting the fight together. Let’s fly around the field and show Penn State we’re ready for a fight.
I’m falling asleep again. I leave for the game in just over five hours. I need to get to the prediction and get to sleep.
My prediction is supposed to be gut feeling, right? No thought in it, just write the post and then see how I feel, right? Well, my gut says Penn State. I think it will be close, but we’re just not healthy enough or deep enough to pull out the victory. Gut says Penn State by 4.
Penn State 17, Illinois 13