Illinois Preview 2021

This one is pretty tough, not only am I not quite sure what’s going to be happening with us, our opponent has a new coach and new schemes everywhere. The spread has basically settled at -7 for this.

Illinois has Peters back at QB that has given us some issues before, and they have a really good stable of backs. They also have Artur Sitkowski who has one of the most awful seasons i’ve ever seen in NCAA football from 2018, he had 4 TDs and 18 INTs in 2018 for Rutgers as well as completing 49% of his passes. God please let us have him get in the game.

Illinois also returns 123 starts along the offensive line, one of the top experienced units in the nation. But my unknown is TE and WR for them, i’m not really sure. Further, how quick will they get acclimated to what Bielema wants them to do offensively?

I only kid because his wife is so hot. Our saving grace could be them shifting to a 3-4 and trying to get up to speed there. While I think we will score and score a lot on them, i’m not quite sure what they are going to do on offense. Are they going to just try to run clock and pound the ball at us? I just don’t know.

One things for sure, this is the 3rd easiest game on our schedule. I get that there’s new schemes we are going against a conference opponent for the first game. But if we want to get where we want to go, we need to win by two scores. I get it, the goal is just get out of Champaign with a win, but we gotta play well. We have to put it on them.

Nebraska 34 Illinois 21

14 thoughts on “Illinois Preview 2021

  1. Another season upon us, and hope springs eternal…sooner or later the Huskers have to play up to their ability and stop shooting themselves in the foot…..right?!?!?!? I admit, I get sucked into the Koolaid about how this is the best leadership, best offseason, guys are focused, etc, etc….but I truly believe we will be much better this year…that said, this is a tough opening test IMO..Illinois plays very physical ball and I expect nothing different with an ex Big 10 coach there now. As long as we limit turnovers and penalties, I think we win by 2 scores…31-21…sooner or later this offense needs to score points and we start moving in that direction today I think, aided by a renewed focus on running the ball downhill (allegedly).

  2. My thoughts are they beat us last year by 3 scores with us turning the ball over 5 times. As long as we do not beat ourselves we should get the win. 28-24 Nebraska.

  3. Just a sad, sad display yesterday. AM looked lost and uncomfortable in the pocket. Lost track of how many throws were off his back foot. Line was a disappointment as well as the renewed “commitment to the run”. And special teams…I don’t even know where to start? This team, aside from physically looking different, played exactly like the teams we have had last three years. And to a team with a backup qb that couldn’t make it at Rutgers and a new coach…at a loss for words really.

    1. Ya, it does feel pretty familiar. I don’t know what the answer is but it’s definitely something different than what’s going on. Our offense…. I can’t believe how bad it is.

  4. It is so disappointing. Four or five plays and it is a totally different game. AM needs to go. He might be ok as a backup QB. He needs to make those throws for receptions and we cannot accept those fumbles. With a different QB that can pass accurately and we win. There is no way to explain those missed extra points. They must all be playing tight for that to happen. It’s like my golf game.

    1. I get the “four or five plays” thing, but we were playing a team with a first year coach who fired their coach after 2020 when they were awful. That’s a game where we should have a dozen plays and it doesn’t matter. I think that’s the issue.

      1. I agree that after three years the game shouldn’t have been in question but based on the last three years I think that is unrealistic. I grew up in NE Nebraska and watched Nebraska football through the Devaney and Osborne years. During those years I recall games where the first quarters seemed to be too close for comfort but there was always the confidence we would come back and by the fourth quarter it was a blowout. With 20 years of disappointment I have limited emotional connection with Nebraska football and little to no expectation that they will win any game. What I’m saying is that although you are right that after three years the Illinois game should have a near certain win. Based on recent history that is a totally unrealistic expectation. Frost isn’t a good head coach and AM is a poor passer. I’m still hopeful things will turn around and we win 7 games this year but that is completely an unrealistic expectation based on the last three years.

  5. I watched the first half of UCLA vs Hawaii. Hawaii and Illinois are not a good comparison, BUT seeing what Chip Kelly did with his own Adrian Martinez (Dorian Thompson-Robinson) makes me realize how young and stubborn Frost is as a head coach. DTR came out and threw some really bad passes. Nice wheels, but like 2AM, is hit or miss with his passes. Chip went full ground game until he had set up a couple of easy single-receiver pass plays for DTR to hit and gain some confidence. Then DTR went cold again. Back to the ground (which was working well). They had a monster day on the ground, so one could say it’s not apples to apples. But again, when Chip says we need to be able to run, he runs. Conversely, Frost says we need a ground game, but ultimately thinks only the QB is capable of winning games in this league.

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