Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Season Opening Thoughts

College football has started! (Although Chief is still focused on basketball.) My weekend schedule didn’t allow me to watch as much football the entire game, but here are a few thoughts...

Mizzou was coming off a bowl appearance and believe they can take the (relatively soft) Big 12 North this year. They are on the rise under head coach Gary Pinkel. The Illini, on the other hand, have won a grand total of 4 games in 2 years under Zook. We now have talent, a touch of experience, and have generated excitement in Champaign. But according to ESPN's Pat Forde, both teams are underachievers.

The stats all stacked up for a Tigers victory, but the Illini gave them a run for their money. I started watching during the third quarter, with Illinois down 37-13, and Juice on the sidelines due to a hard hit to the head. I was depressed. Then I watched an impressive comeback, led by back-up QB Eddie McGee, a redshirt freshman. Before I knew it, the score was 37-34. (Note: This is NOT an ideal time to be told you can’t watch the rest of the game.) The Illini had a final drive and were within 23 yards of the winning TD, but an interception by Mizzou on the 1-yard line with under a minute to go gave the Illini the loss.

Based on what I saw/heard, the Illini had every opportunity to either be completely humiliated or win the game. Given those choices, I am glad we landed somewhere in the middle since we couldn't secure the win. There isn't much shame in a close loss to a solid Big 12 team (compared to a school from the division formerly known as 1AA, for example). I'm guessing that many will say that we are past the point of moral victories, but given how bad this could have been, I see promise for the season (and I really want something to be optimistic about right now).

Highlights and lowlights:


<< Home |

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