No company with me on the drive up and the chance to think long and hard about just how much I despise the Illini brought back some bad memories. Mostly it’s just the fans and some past players but specifically it was the happenings after they upset us in 2007.
We were the #1 team in the country and were rolling through the season when Juice came to town and wrecked the season. At the end of that game after having a day to forget on offense, the Illini went to the center of the field and danced on the Block O. A fight ensued and it made a bad night worse.
Saturday, all I could think about was beating them to a pulp and washing that nasty taste out of our mouths and moving on in convincing fashion. I got there early enough to swing by and say hello to all of the wonderful people that work the DRIVEN tent at every home game and head back to the stadium to assume my post.
The day was also going to be boring because neither Gary or his brother in law Rob would be there to joke around with and enjoy the sights. As I walked into the stadium I got to see the huge American Flag that they were going to use during the Star Spangled Banner. An amazing flag, you can see it takes up quite a bit of the field!
The Buckeyes struggled through the first quarter just as we all have become accustomed to. I am of the belief now that it is simply that this team doesn’t mind giving it’s prey what amounts to a five second head start. We are starting to see that there may not be a better one-two punch in the B1G than Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde and they are the top of the list nationally.
Prior to halftime, I had been joking around with tBBC creator about how warm he was in the press box and he joked back that I forgot to mention the free McFlurry’s he gets as well. I waited until the right opportunity to butt in on one of his other conversations and said “I guess this means you won’t bring me a free McFlurry?” LOL
As i was immersed into something interesting on my phone I saw out of the corner of my eye that someone had approached me and was waiting for me to look up. As I did look up I saw this . . .
Thank you to Jeff for giving me my best laugh of the day. It also made me realize that I should be very careful of the way I challenge him as well!
The free McFlurry was the second best part of the day as the Buckeyes rolled over the Illini, and for all intents and purposes, Coach Meyer was sending his good friend a message when he sent Kenny G in to run the O. They are going to score with their back -ups in and ‘it’s nothing personal Coach Beckman’.
I have to take my hat off to Coach Beckman, he handled the press conference pretty well. He was comlimentary to the Buckeyes and how special Braxton Miller is. He also went a long way in convincing his fans he is the right man for the job because he knows what the future holds for his team. If he can get through the season and survive, he will build a nice program over in Champaign.
The Buckeyes won by 30 yesterday and did a lot of good things to help me forget about 2007. Here’s to a week off and then off to Madison to kick some more Badger tail! Go Bucks!
I thought the offensive line had a great challenge. It was kind of like one of those you get into a stalemate and you get into it, and you get into it, fortunately by the fourth quarter we won that stalemate. Probably didn’t win it early. Do they feel good about the fact that we didn’t win it throughout? I would hope that the competitor in all of us, we’d all like everything to work all the time, but you could see them on film. They’re a good football team. Especially in the trenches.
I thought they did a nice job of working the safeties down into the box, both run and pass, they tricked us the one time and robbed that little spot route and it was a similar coverage, though, when we threw the corner route behind it for the touchdown, but they got us the first time with it, and that also allowed them to have those extra guys in the box. That has a little bit to do with where the line goes toward where they work up the linebackers and safeties sometimes, but, no, it was — it was a reality, man, that was a tough one.
And now we have a chance to come home, play against an Indiana team that they threw it 64 times last week, 98 plays, you know, those receivers are veterans. The quarterback, of course, is a veteran. Their running back does a nice job in protection, and the amount that they run him, he’s very good at it and he’s a good receiver as well.
Defensively they struggled against a very fast, fast offense that Michigan brought at them. And special teams-wise, their return men, they’ve always done a good job on kickoff return against us and Doss is back there again.
I wish we had more balls. That sounds terrible.
It wasn’t pretty, but the big wooden turtle comes back to Columbus:
Thanks again to Cole for taking the game’s pressure and turning it into a diamond.
Big Ten play will finally be here when Ohio State travels to Illinois for the first conference game of the season. It will not only be Ohio State’s first conference clash, but also the first road test for the Buckeyes in 2010.
The Big Ten has the reputation of a slow, plodding football conference nationally, but to the Midwest, the Big Ten style of football is a staple of the fall and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The “slow” stereotype is obnoxiously inaccurate anyway, particularly when it is used by national pundits to predict the outcome of games. Apparently, “Big Ten slow, other team fast” passes as expert knowledge these days.
Slow or not (not), the Big Ten season means hard hitting, smash mouth football that has an intensity about it that you just don’t see during out-of-conference play. I am ready.
Adding to the intensity is the target that Ohio State carries on its back each week in the conference. As five time defending champs, Ohio State will get everyone’s best shot. Illinois will be bringing it this weekend, and the road through Champaign will be no cake-walk for the Buckeyes.
At the same time, Ohio State is the class of the Big Ten conference for a reason, and athletically, the Buckeyes match up well with everyone on the schedule.
Join me after the jump for a look at those match ups against the Fighting Illini. Read More
As we enter into the Big T1e1n Season, we’re doing a little Q&A with our fellow conference bloggers. This time, the guys at Hail to the Orange drop a little knowledge on us; they also checked in with the team at Inside the Shoe earlier. Here we go:
How do you feel about your upcoming run of games including #2 Ohio State, at #23 Penn State and at #25 Michigan State? After the non-conference schedule, where do you see Illinois finishing within the Big T1e1n? What kind of record would be “satisfying” at the end of the season, given the schedule?
6-6 and a bowl is all I really want out of this year, wins against the bottom half of the league in Minnesota, Purdue, and Indiana should get us there with a win thrown in against either Fresno or Northwestern. That is all I can really expect out of this team I think, young at the skill positions and probably a year away from a very good year. Read More
As we enter into the Big T1e1n Season, we’re giving tBBC readers the chance to gain insight into the teams and fans that the Buckeyes will be matching up with on Saturday. Our friends at Writing Illini were gracious enough to do a little Q&A with us, you can see our thoughts on their questions over at their site. Football writer Nick Houska gives his thoughts on the stuff that our team tossed his way. Enjoy!
How do you feel about your upcoming run of games including #2 Ohio State, at #23 Penn State and at #25 Michigan State? After the non-conference schedule, where do you see Illinois finishing within the Big Ten? What kind of record would be “satisfying” at the end of the season, given the schedule?
The next 3 games, which Writing Illini has dubbed the “State Stretch”, will show us what the Illini can do this year. The unfortunate part for Illini fans is that Illinois could play well in all 3 games and still go 0-3. The State Stretch features 3 opponents, all of whom are in the Top 25 and a combined 11-1, with the only loss coming when Penn State fell at #1 Alabama. To make matters worse for the Illini, 2 of the 3 contests are on the road.
Despite this difficult batch of games, I am excited to see how the Illini handle the State Stretch. The Ohio State game will be tough. Illinois has not defeated the Buckeyes in Champaign since 1991, and I’m sure the 2007 upset in Columbus has not left Ohio State’s minds. The Illini must ensure that no matter the outcome, they must not allow themselves to get in a funk like the one the Missouri loss put them in last year.
The other two games, at Penn State and at Michigan State, both have the potential for a huge road upset. The Penn State game will be a tough environment for Illinois’ first true road game, but the Nittany Lions’ offense has struggled at times this year with a freshman quarterback. The Michigan State game is also an opportunity to get the season’s signature road win. The Spartans are living up to their preseason hype for once, but with head coach Dantonio’s recent health struggles, the Illini could stand a chance.
If the Illini can win one of the three games in the State Stretch and come out with a 3-3 record overall, they stand a significant chance of making a bowl game this year. If they struggle and come out 2-4, their chances drop significantly. Either way, the most important thing for the team is that it does not let a few losses ruin the rest of the season as it did last year and that they avoid any more injuries. Read More