Saturday, September 15, 2012

Taking Stock

We've had three weeks to watch Tim Beckman's first Illini team. They've played a variety of competition to give us a pretty good idea of what he's doing with what he's got to work with.

Against a strong FCS team, Western Michigan, the Illini looked promising. Of course, the 64-yard TD pass to Ryan Lankford to open that game helped a lot. Then, against the quality PAC-12 Arizona State Sun Devils, the Illini looked lost. The defense didn't quite live up to their billing in the desert. But this week, against the winless Charleston Southern Buccaneers, the Illini looked brilliant. Reilly O'Toole impressed, with the red zone interception as the lone blemish on a stellar afternoon.

My observations to date:
The Illini have lots of room for improvement, but if they make strides quickly, anything could happen in what appears (so far) to be a weak Big Ten. The jury is still out on Beckman, but other than waiting a bit longer than I think he should have to put the second string offense in against Charleston Southern, he appears to be holding serve in the situation he inherited.

Looking forward to the season...Go Illini!

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