1-Illinois converts 3 of 4 second half red zones including 21 points off 3 Michigan turnovers to crush the Wolverines. Our poor safety play was exposed with a 77 yard bomb and a 57 yard screen pass for big play TDs by the Illini, and credit Ron Zook's superior coaching staff who prepared his team well.
2-Threet ended the game with 18 of 35 for 250 yards, 2 TDs, 4 sacks ruining some nice carries for a negative 24 yards. We get 17 first downs, 319 net yards in total offense, 3 of 3 in red zone efficiency for 20 points and were 6 of 16 in 3rd and 4th down conversions. Odoms caught 7 passes for 129 yards plus had one 3 yard carry, Mathews had 4 catches for 73 yards and a TD plus 3 punt returns for 39 yards. Savoy and Rogers caught their first passes of the year. Fumbles by Shaw and Odoms really cost us.
3-McGuffie has 70 yards on 19 carries for a TD; Wolverine net rushing was 69 yards in 35 carries after deducting 4 sacks for 33 yards by the Illini. Mark Moundros scored his first touchdown as a Wolverine on a 2 yard pass.
4-Where was the defense? Juice Williams completed 13 of 26 for 310 yards including the 57 yard screen pass to Dufrene and a 77 yard bomb to Cumberland. Where were the safeties, Steve Brown, Charles Stewart, Brandon Harrison? The Illini come up with 501 net total yards, 19 first downs, 4 of 5 in red zone efficiency for 28 points, a six minute time of possession advantage and were 6 of 15 on 3rd down conversions. Illinois netted 191 yards in rushing offense, and Williams got 121 yards in 19 carries for 2 TDs, Dufrene got another 46 yards, Ford and Leshore added 2 more rushing TDs. Their coaching staff had them well prepared for our overpursing defense, and poor safety play. Zook also exposed our weak SAM-Linebacker position manned by John Thompson since he isn't mobile enough and out of position much of the time; he needs to stay inside. We only had one sack, and Williams had "all day" to throw the ball. We did have 11 tackles for loss for 35 yards, but no sacks. Great job by the superior offensive line from Champaign. Aurelius Benn had 6 catches for 122 yards, 3 returns for 46 yards, and added 3 carries for 20 more. Ezeh had 15 tackles, 5 for loss and a pass break up to lead the tired, weary Wolverine defense. Brit Miller had 9 tackles including 2 pass break ups and 2 sacks for the Illini. Vontae Davis also had 9 tackles and a forced fumble.
5-Martavious Odoms was a nice change on kickoffs with 4 returns for 183 yards, until he fumbled. Mesko has 8 punts for a 46.9 yard average including 3 inside the 20, 4 for 50+ yards, a fair catch and a touchback. Gingell had 4 mediocre kickoffs for a 59.3 yard average, Lopata had a field goal blocked, and an extra point touched that went through and another extra point blocked that hit the upright. Our special teams also provided a turnover that the Illini converted for a TD. Matt Eller was 6 of 6 in extra points, and one of two in field goals as we did get a block.
6-We were beat by a superior team in talent, hustle, conditioning, game plan, strategies and coaching. Coach Rod's sideline flashes yelling at his players: McGuffie, Shaw and others was indicative of today's frustration.
1We convert two red zones for 14 points, but our defense cant hold Illinois as they convert a red zone for 7 points and a 57 yard screen for another TD to go ahead. No turnovers for either team!
2Threet ends the first half with 8 of 20 for 129 yards and 1 TD plus 4 carries for 13 yards. We get 10 first downs, 209 yards in total offense, 2 minutes time of possession advantage and were 3 of 9 in 3rd down conversions. We are improving, but have to get better. Mathews had 3 catches for 42 yards and a TD. Savoy caught his first pass of the year. Clemons took a dumb ineligible receiver penalty, but we converted the next play for a TD to Mathews.
3McGuffie has 53 yards on 15 carries; net rushing is only 80 yards in 21 carries.
4Where is the defense? Juice Williams completes 6 of 13 for 141 yards including the 57 yard screen pass to Dufrene. Where were the safeties, Steve Brown? The Illini come up with 219 total yards, and were 2 of 7 on 3rd down conversions. Their coaching staff had them well prepared for our overpursing defense, and poor safety play. Illinois had two 3 and outs compared to one for us. Ezeh has 7 tackles to lead the defense. Warren has 5, Brandon Graham and Mouton have 4 each. Graham got one sack. Davis has 6 tackles for Illinois, and the forced fumble.
5Martavious Odoms has been a nice change on kickoffs with 4 returns for 123 yards plus another 3 catches for 78 yards; he almost had a TD pass to close the half. Mesko has 5 punts for a 43.4 yard average including 3 inside the 20, a 50+ yarder, a fair catch and a touchback. Gingell had two average kickoffs to the 13, Lopata had a field goal blocked, and an extra point touched that went through.
62nd half defense had better get better or well lose. Our conditioning had better help us late in this game, and hopefully we can have zero turnovers. Moundros saved Minor on his only run, he fumbles.