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SOC – Ohio State November 2, 2012

I’m resigned to wanting a Minnesota finish. Is that so bad?

Yes it is. Here’s what I mean. Minnesota fired Tim Brewster and hired Jerry Kill. They looked OK in their opener with USC last year, but then they were awful. Home loss to New Mexico State. Home loss to FCS North Dakota State. Open Big Ten play with a 58-0 loss at Michigan (sound familiar?). Lose to Purdue by 28. Lost to Nebraska by 27. They looked like one of the worst Big Ten teams on record at that point (sound familiar?)

But then, late in the season, they shocked Iowa at home 22-21. And they hung with eventual Legends champ Michigan State on the road, losing by seven. And then in their last game, they kind of totally destroyed us at home. So no, they weren’t one of the worst Big Ten teams in history. And I don’t want to be either.

That’s kind of what Illini fans need at this point. Something that tells us we’re not headed for another 2-30 four year run (lose our next four and we’re halfway there – seriously). Tim Beckman and his coaching staff need to show that their teams will get better as the season goes on. They need to show what Jerry Kill showed late last season – that even with a 3-9 record, there’s a little hope that things can start to turn around.

November is that kind of month around college football. I have no stats, but it feels like 60% of the head-scratcher upsets happen in November. Remember 2007? Ohio State has a shot at the national title… and then they lose to us. Oregon has a chance to play for the title… and then they lose to Arizona. Which means Oklahoma can move up to… they lose to Texas Tech. Which means West Virginia has it locked up if they can beat Pitt… and they lose. Which means Missouri can actually play for the national title… and they lose to Oklahoma.

But it’s not just that. Head scratchers just seem to always happen in November. And we never get to play. That 2007 upset at Ohio State was our last head-scratcher win. Seriously. In the five years that followed, the only Illini win that made people scratch their heads and say “really? Illinois?” was… maybe Penn State 2010? But they were bad that year. Maybe Baylor? Nah – nobody knew how good RGIII was back then. Yeah, in nearly five seasons, if we’re supposed to lose to a superior opponent, we do.

This won’t be the head scratcher, by the way. That’s not where I’m going with this. This is a loss. But I’m looking ahead to our three games after that. Is it too much to ask us to kill this losing streak and win one of them? How about two? Is that too much to ask?

(probably)

I’m just longing to see some fight, that’s all. I want to see us punch. I feel like I’ve been watching a boxing match, and we’re in between round eight and round nine right now, and our boxer has pretty much just been standing there protecting his face the first eight rounds. And when he gets cornered, he latches on for a hug until the ref breaks them up.

So now you already know the fight is over. Our guy has already lost too many rounds to win the fight. And we know he doesn’t have it in him for a knockout. But it is too much to ask that he come out in Round Nine and start swinging? You know, to the point where maybe the crowd gets into it a little bit and the opponent is stunned for a few seconds?

And so you still lose the round, but you come out stronger in Round Ten and actually win a round? And even though you’re losing the fight, you still feel pretty good about your future in boxing? Could we maybe possibly kind of do that the next four weeks please?

I just want to see some fight. That’s all I want. Fight. Even though we’re losing this round, please throw some punches. Maybe we can learn something we can use in the next round.

Ohio State 37, Illinois 10

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8 Comments
schiavonir November 3rd, 2012

Robert, did you really just SOC that score? Cuz the line on the game at this moment is OSU by 27.5, and the U/O is 50.5. You are pretty damn close on both counts. Nice.

Joe John November 3rd, 2012

Robert, if the Illini season was a boxing match, they were already knocked out about 3 rounds ago (Penn State). When you come out vs Indiana, after a bye week to prepare, and lose the way they did….i think that tells you that this season was a knockout early.

I’ll say Ohio State 59, Illinois – 0.

illiniranger November 3rd, 2012

There is no way this offense scores double digits in Columbus

Steve November 3rd, 2012

My personal line on this game is 40. but we dont cover.
48-6, yeah that feels right. Sigh

Kokomo Illini November 3rd, 2012

I agree with Joe John regarding the last game. The fumbles (every punt I now have to put my hands over my eyes – like a horror film), dumb penalties and sacks (Nathan, just run and throw the ball out of bounds, yeech!) were bad enough; but this team is not happy playing the game, nor happy with each other. This Illini treated the Indiana game like a scrimmage.

The Buckeyes are allowing 390 yds per game and 24 pts a game as well. Maybe the Illini can make some progress by running consistently with Young and Ferguson, and limiting the amount of possessions that OSU gets.

Still feels like another big loss. OSU 50 Illinois 14

OWWDig November 3rd, 2012

I’d be shocked to see us score double digits. Though tOSU has given up nearly 400 yds/game and 24pts/game, they’re still in a different universe than we are at this time. In the past, I’d have hung my hat on, “We always play tOSU tough no matter what.” This year, I cannot even talk myself into that.

Joe John November 3rd, 2012

Illinois defense:

2012 vs Ohio State – 570 yards given up
2011 vs Ohio State – 228 yards given up

Its amazing that last year for the Ohio State game, Illinois was ranked #16 in the country.

52-22 today….good for Ashante Williams getting a defensive TD…but other than just a complete expected beatdown.

Scheelhaase 33 passing attempts = 97 yards

illiniranger November 3rd, 2012

I thought earnest Thomas tacked well