Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Take Offense

Summer (was it ever really summer?) is winding down, and college football season is nearly here!

So, what should we expect from the Illini this year?

Let's start with the offense. It could be the best in the Big Ten, according to this preview. And why not?

The Illini led the Big Ten in passing yards last year, and now QB Juice Williams is a senior. He can throw, he can run, and he has experience -- both over-achieving and under-achieving. Expect him to be hungry to win. Eddie McGee has proven to be a capable back-up -- also able to run and throw. Look for him in unexpected places again this season...

The wide receivers are considered the most talented group in the conference. They are led by Benn, a junior, in what could easily be his last season. He is fun to watch, and with a couple years of experience, expect him to excel. Especially since Florida transfer Jarred Fayson will be on the field this year and will take some of the pressure off Benn. Jeff Cumberland is an experienced senior and still a big target. And there are plenty of other guys who are capable of making an impact in any given game.

As for the running game, Daniel Dufrene is emerging as the leading running back. But he won't be alone in the backfield, with sophomores Jason Ford, Troy Pollard and Mikel LeShoure and speedy freshman Justin Green also on the roster. Mark Tupper says that Dufrene undertook a summer workout routine similar to the one Rashard Mendenhall took on before his junior season... Here's hopeing Dufrene gets similar results.

The biggest changes from last season's offense is the O-line. Eager to prove they aren't the offensive "question mark," this is big (310 lbs or so) group. Eric Block, a 5th-year senior, takes over under center. Senior right guard Jon Asamoah was named to the Outland Trophy Watch list, an award given to the best interior lineman in college football. And sophomore tackle Jeff Allen is coming off a surprising freshman season, with experience as a 9-game starter.

All that to say that the 2009 Illini should be fun to watch -- especially when they have the ball. This group should be able to put points on the board.

Go Illini!

Labels: , , , , ,

<< Home |

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