Saturday, October 09, 2010

Another One

Tough test, that is. The Illini football team has a brutal schedule to open their conference season. After playing well at home against Ohio State despite the loss, the Illini are on the road in Happy Valley today. Again, not an easy place to play.

Although my recent schedule has prevented me from seeing the full game, the Illini really did play fairly well against one of the best teams in the country last week. The D held Pryor and the Buckeyes to season lows, and they got their first 2 interceptions of the season. The O started strong, complete with a fun Scheelhaase-lateral-to-Fayson-to Scheelhaase pass play for a big gain. They sputtered after that, and didn't take full advantage of turnovers, but they hung in. Despite the late tOSU touchdown that made the score look like the game wasn't all that close, the Illini played a respectable game.

The question is, how long can they play reasonably well with just a few mistakes, and still take a loss? With their schedule, that could happen for a while this season. And usually, games like that send a college team into a downward spiral.

It would be nice to see the Illini come away with a win, and they are just on the edge of capable when playing their best. And Penn State is vulnerable.

But after their disappointing loss to the Hawkeyes, JoePa will have his team ready to go at home. His true freshman QB is gaining valuable experience every week. So, once again, the Illini have a tough test. Let's see them pass this one with a victory -- and not just a moral one.

Go Illini!


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