Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall is More than Football

Really. It is. Fall is also volleyball. That's another favorite fall sport.

The #3 Illini have gotten off to a perfect start in the non-conference season, and they are currently at the top of a loaded Big Ten. The Illini will open conference play Friday night at #9 Minnesota.

And the entire conference season will be tough. Currently, the Big Ten boasts 4 of the top 10 teams (#5 Penn State, #10 Nebraska), and 7 of the top 25. BTN will help us follow what should be an exciting season. In fact, they started us off tonight with a great matchup in Lincoln where the Huskers notched their first Big Ten win against the Lady Lions in 5. The last set was fantastic.

The Illini are looking good. But as the highest-ranked team in the conference, they will be targets. They deserve the rank, but they will have to play really, really well to keep it. However, I believe the tough conference season will prepare these girls well for the post-season.

If you have a chance, keep your eyes on these girls. Go Illini!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What to Work on

The Illini football team has a week to focus on improving some weaknesses before the Big Ten season starts (thought Western Michigan is not a team to take for granted). As mentioned earlier, here are a few areas at the top of the "weakness" list.
The Broncos won in Detroit three years ago. Although the Illini need to be ready, if they play like they have so far this season, they should be in good shape. However, there can't be a letdown after the big night game. The win over the Sun Devils was significant, but there's plenty of football left, boys.

Go Illini!



Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Few of My Favorite (Football) Things

Coach Ron Zook's Fighting Illini looked really good as they devoured the first two cupcakes of the season. The win over #18 Arizona State was much sloppier, but it was still a big win.

Though my schedule has limited my time to write, I've still managed to watch the Illini so far this season. They have plenty of room for improvement, but there has been a lot to like.

Here are a few of my favorite things from the season so far, in no particular order:
I'll save the points that need vast improvement for another day. Go Illini!



Saturday, September 03, 2011

And the Season Begins!

After a cool start, it's been a hot summer. That flew by. And now, it's time for football!

But though time flies, it's been a rough off-season in the Big Ten. Jerry Kill starts his tenure against USC. Luke Fickell is in charge in Columbus. Brady Hoke will debut in Ann Arbor. And there are plenty of players not on the field or sidelines.

As for the Illini, they have the potential to surprise. Somewhere in the middle of the new Big Ten, the Illini could impress. They've got plenty of games in Memorial Stadium, starting with Arkansas State.

The Illini should be in good shape against the Red Wolves, but they must not take anything for granted to mentally prepare themselves to make a strong showing in the Big Ten and get a bowl game added to their 2011 schedule.

Nathan Scheelhaase, in his sophomore season, has great potential, and he's got experienced protection from his O-Line, with four returning starters there. Look for a strong running game from Jason Ford, as well.

On D, there are some holes to fill, and it will be interesting to see how Vic Koenning addresses those issues and builds on the progress this unit made in 2010. Watch DB Ian Thomas and Trulon Henry for leadership on this side of the ball.

And get ready for another season of Illini football! I-L-L...



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