Joined: 20 Jan 2018
|Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:19 am Post subject: Source: Packers to hire Pettine as new DC
|Afternoon everyone from a cloudy Champaign. Matt Daniels here for another weekly chat as it finally seems fall is about to descend upon east central Illinois.
Illinois football will hit the road for its first Big Ten game of the season at undefeated Nebraska. The Cornhuskers come in feeling good about themselves with a 4 0 record and a No. 15 ranking the latest AP poll. We'll see what adjustments, if any, Illinois is able to make after two straight disappointing losses to head into Big Ten play.
Illinois basketball season is right around the corner, with practice starting on Monday.
Illinois volleyball had a tough three set loss to No. 1 Nebraska on Wednesday night at Huff Hall, with Kevin Hambly's program falling to 9 5 overall and 2 1 in the Big Ten.
And on the high school football front, six area teams are a perfect 5 0 and can clinch an automatic playoff berth this Friday night.
With all that said, let's get this week's chat underway.
Sir. I have heard discussion, that I think is preposterous, that our Illini might bring in a fifth year guy next year to play QB. My thought is if there wholesale jerseys online is such a guy who will earn his degree next spring AND if he is good enough to play in the Big Ten that he would test the professional waters rather than risk an injury and possibly millions upon millions of dollars to play for a less than comptitive college team. Do you share this opinion? Maybe a juco guy. But I see no way we get a fifth year guy. I'd love to hear your analysis on this subject because sure as shooting were gonna need a QB next year.
I know I've said before that whoever starts at quarterback for Illinois in 2017 might not yet on the roster this season. Don't know if Chayce Crouch is the answer to Garrick McGee's offense and we will see if Illinois keeps on losing whether Lovie Smith will turn to the backup for some meaningful playing time this season. That could give us a better indication in the future.
A junior college quarterback might seem like a better solution than a fifth year transfer quarterback, but it worked out pretty well for Wisconsin when Russell Wilson transferred to the Badgers for the 2011 season. Austin Appleby got the start last Saturday for Florida and looked real good for the first half against Tennessee before the Gators stumbled.
The Big Ten isn't exactly a breeding ground for future first round draft picks by the NFL. Yes, Wilson has thrived with the Seahawks, along with Drew Brees succeeding with the Saints and of course, Tom Brady with the Patriots. But all those guys coming out of college weren't guaranteed to become such productive NFL quarterbacks.
Whoever Illinois has at its quarterback next season, I'd expect to see them be used in more of a dual threat role than what Illinois can do right now with Wes Lunt. That's not a knock on Lunt, who I feel was unjustly criticized after his play against Western Michigan, but more so on what it seems the offensive philosophy Smith wants out of his teams moving forward.
We had Illinois soccer coach Janet Rayfield on with us during The News Gazette Sports Page on WDWS 1400 AM last month from Rantoul, and the veteran Illini coach had nothing but good things to say about her team's training experience in Rantoul.
I don't know if this is something her program will do again next August, but they certainly have a basis for what that environment and that experience was like.
Illinois football, on the other hand, drew some respectable crowds during the 16 days it opened up training camp at Memorial Stadium. With the Irwin Indoor Facility nearby, and that was used a few times in August when bad weather struck, I'd imagine you'll see Lovie Smith's program continue to hold training camp on the UI campus as opposed to making the trek back up to Rantoul. on Oct. 21 at the UI Arboretum.
Don't imagine you'll ever get to a point where Illinois holds all cheap jerseys of its meets at home as the runners and coaches would like to see a varied style of courses throughout the season, and understandably so.
But if you're interested in seeing the Illini perform in their final tune up before the postseason gets rolling in Novemeber, then this is the home meet for you to check out.
No problem. I grew up around the St. Louis area, Glen Carbon to be precise before graduating from Edwardsville High School in 2004 (Go Tigers!), so my youth was spent reading the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Alton Telegraph cover to cover each and every day. My first glimpse of Loren Tate came from reading his column that ran in the Alton Telegraph, where I also learned about local sports from the writings of Steve Porter and Greg Shashack, among others.
I was lucky in the sense that I pretty much figured out around the age of 12 that sports writing is something I wanted to do with my career. I've been fortunate enough to have this as a profession for nearly the last decade, including the last four years at what I feel is one of the best papers not only in the state, but in the country, here at The News Gazette.
Have not heard any plans abouty any Midnight Madness event or anything like what Illinois did a few years ago by setting up an outdoor court near Wright and Green Street on campus.
There usually is a practice that is open to fans at some point in October, but that's a limited viewing since the practice is held at Ubben, where seating isn't exactly spacious.
The first official day of practice is slated for this upcoming Monday.
Well, for Illinois to likely stay competitive at Nebraska, something has to change after the Illini's dismal showing against Western Michigan.
Wes Lunt will still start at quarterback, so don't expect to see a lot of Chayce Crouch unless, of course, an injury happens.
What I think I want to see out of Illinois more than anything on Saturday when it comes to the offense is a renewed emphasis on the run game. Falling behind Western Michigan so quickly seemed to veer Illinois off its wholesale jerseys plan of establishing the run game. If Illinois is able to get Ke'Shawn Vaughn going again and have Kendrick Foster spell him with quality carries off the bench, that should be a good sign. If not, then it might be a long afternoon in Lincoln.
Good question. Just off the top of my head, it doesn't seem very likely to happen with what's going on with women's college volleyball having Nebraska in the top spot, Minnesota at No. 2 and Wisconsin at No 3 all out of the Big Ten.
I know Kevin Hambly has told our Scott Richey that the Big Ten is having another great season, and that is certainly reflected in the national rankings. We'll see if that holds true, but nearly midway through the regular season, the Big Ten is having another stellar year on the women's volleyball court.
It's not like Lovie Smith can go off and pluck players from the waiver wire or make a trade with another team, like he was able to do in the NFL.