Tuesday, September 27, 2005

ILLINI FACTS - Mixed Bag of Success

How did we look so good on the road at CAL two weeks ago and so flat against Sparty at home last Saturday? Sure the ILLINI aren't in the race for the BIG-10 Title just yet. Our defense needs some work, especially in the secondary. Our offense looks good at times but can struggle against aggressive defensive fronts. It truly is gut-check time. We are a young team (more later). Michigan State is a great squad, but ILLINOIS was flat at home against Sparty last Saturday. Not sure why, but it won't happen again. We lacked energy and looked rather sluggish at times. We gotta do what we do best. Coach feels good about the IOWA game this weekend. Tune-in and see what happens.

When the bully takes your lunch money sooner or later you have to stand-up and make a stand, "No more Mr. Bully! This is my money and my lunch." All that aside, here are some interesting ILLINOIS football facts:

1) With 12 freshmen and 3 sophomores in the starting line-up, your Fighting ILLINI is the youngest team in the nation

2) Illinois is the only team in the BIG-10 to convert on all of its red-zone trips. We're 18 for 18 with 11 TD's and 7 FG's. Wow, only 13 other DIV 1A programs can say that.

3) On 51 total drives, the ILLINOIS defense has forced 17 three and outs (33%) and 20 punts (40%).

4) Our opponents have only converted 19 3rd-downs this season, 3rd fewest in the BIG-10.

Read the rest in this article.

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