Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Start(er)?

The Illini are kicking off against Michigan State for Homecoming today with a new starter under center. Will the change from Juice Williams to Eddie McGee be enough to give the Illini a new start on the disappointing season? Maybe, but Michigan State is coming off a victory over in-state rival Michigan. Their confidence is high, and they've been playing very well.

The move to Eddie could energize the Illini, who clearly need something to try to stop the "free fall" that started with the dismal showing against Mizzou. But with the leadership that Juice provided in the off-season, I don't know if the change on the field will be enough.

The Illini have been confounding this season. They have so many solid pieces that should fit together to create a solid Big Ten football team. But for some reason, those pieces -- a talented QB, gifted wide receivers and diverse running game -- haven't fit together to put points on the board. We knew defense would be a question, and the loss of Martez Wilson hurt. And special teams have been an "adventure" in recent years.

Of course, the Illini have faced some of the top Big Ten teams at the beginning of the conference season. But that's not an excuse. Let's hope it's motivation for a stronger showing as the season wears on.

As for the Spartans, it will be a tough Homecoming game. Let's see what Eddie and the Illini can do...

Go Illini!

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