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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