Saturday, November 03, 2007

Week #10 Wrap - Juice is Loose!

I said last week that we're goin' bowlin' this year. Not that I was wrong, but technically - the win over Ball State just made is bowl eligible. But tonight's blowout of Minnesota under the dome puts a stamp on our bowl game, potentially a Florida Bowl in Orlando or Jacksonville. How 'bout those Illini - building a culture of winning? Doesn't happen over night, but it starts with winnnig games you are expected to win, at home or away.

This was a game we needed to not only win, but to do so by making a statement. Missions accomplished. Isiah 'Juice' Williams and Rashard Mendenhall (RMIII) combined for over 350 yards rushing between the two of them. Juice looked good throwing the ball on 14/21 for 207 and 2TDs. The offense was clicking tonight on the road - granted, against the Gophers. But, this is the kind of win that was expected and was delivered. Both of these guys should be leading Heisman candidates in 2008 assuming RMIII returns for his senior season. At 124 yards / game, RMII is right behind Stewart at Oregon on the national scene with 1371 rushing yards from scrimmage on just 196 carries, making him 3rd in total yards behind two kids from Tulane and UCF; and leads the country with a gaudy 7.0 yards/carry.

For the night, we had 31 first downs - 22 on the ground amassing 660 total yards under the canopy (453 yards on the ground). 44-17 was your final, and it could have been a lot worse. Great job all the way around. The defense played OK and is holding opposition to just 19.1 points / game for the season (down from near 40 just two years ago). As a unit, we're ~ 20th in the nation for scoring defense. And if you don't believe that defense doesn't win championships, Ohio State leads the nation in scoring defense at 9.7 points / game. Believe it now? Guess who else tops the list? This is why I think Oregon will struggle down the stretch in terms of any national title hopes. As a team, Illinois is 6th in the nation in total rushing behind Oregon, averaging 261 yards on the ground / game on 442 attemps. Up next, the battle for the ILLIBUCK trophy in Columbus. Yes, we travel to Ohio State to take on those nasty BUCKEYES where we've had some success of late. Remember last year? In a crazy season where anything can and has happened; you just never know.

DUCK WRAP - Another big win for the quack attack today in Eugene, this time in front of the nation against #4 ASU. It really wasn't it doubt all afternoon while Dennis was large and in charge chucking 4 TD passes on 13/22 for 189. Stewart looked sound in the running game as well putting on 99 yards on 21 carries. And the 'D' had 9 sacks on Carpenter. Ducks should move up in the polls this week. With three to go including a Thursday-night game in Tucson up next, they control their own destiny with the worst outcome being the Rose Bowl barring a total collapse job with three to go, including the CIVIL WAR.

Elsewhere - How about those Jayhawks? Wow, the final score was like a basketball game. How bad is it now for Nebraska who owned a 32 - game winning streak and 37 of 38 against the Hawks. KU put up 11TDs on the vaunted black-shirt defense who gave up more points today than ever before (117 years). At one point, Kansas put together 10 straight TD drives on that Husker 'D'. And for the first time in 49 years the Huskers have lost 5 in a row. For the season, Callahan's crew has allowed 359 points this year (10 games). Wow! Oh, how the children of the corn have fallen. A new low each week. I don't know how you field this team next week at home against KSU. If your Callahan, maybe you don't. Ugh!

Oh the pain in South Bend tonight in 3OT. For the first time in 43 years, the MIDDIES down the Irish to end the nation's longest winning streak. ND is now 1-8 on the year to forget; NAVY improves to 5-4. Notre Dame's first 8-loss season since 1960. Good news for IRISH fans is that their 2008 recruiting class still leads the nation - for now.

And SPARTY still hasn't won in November since 2004. MEECHIGAN won a close one on the road to lead the BIG-10 with Ohio State, who rolled today over the Badgers. And how about LSU? Oh, I haven't seen a team win so many close games in a long time. But, sooner or later their luck will run out in the SEC. Texas overcame a 21-point deficit in Stillwater to beat the Pokes at home.

Just when you think this season might calm down a bit and finally make some sense, DOWN GOES #2 AGAIN! How 'bout those Noles? In a night where Ryan threw 3 picks and looked average at best, BC goes down at home opening the door for LSU and Oregon in the BCS. Three more weeks to go in this unbelievable season. It's that time of year. It's November that they remember. It's when Championships are won, and lost. Here's the complete round-up.

My TOP 10:

1) Ohio State, 2) LSU, 3) Oregon, 4) Oklahoma, 5) West Virginia, 6) Kansas, 7) Mizzou, 8) Georgia, 9) Michigan, 10) UCONN.

web site counters
ISP unique hits since Aug. 2k6

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?