Well, a mixed bag for Illinois athletics yesterday. A frustrating loss marked by yet another interesting coaching decision (more of that this afternoon). Time for The Morning Dump, a quick trip around the web to see what folks are saying about Illini sports beyond our local beat:
Keep the ball on the ground and out of freshman quarterback Braxton Miller’s hands, lean hard on tailback Daniel Herron — playing his first game since January after serving a pair of NCAA suspensions — and count on the defense to stop No. 16 Illinois.
It worked, all of it, and the Buckeyes (4-3, 1-2) ground out a 17-7 upset over the Illini (6-1, 2-1).
“Up 10-0, we were on the sideline saying, ‘Man, we haven’t made a pass yet,’” Stoneburner said. “It was kind of funny, but we were all saying, ‘Who cares?’ We’re up, and if we complete one pass, I’ll take the catch.”
No Ohio State team had gone through a game with just one completion since 1976, a 22-21 loss to Missouri with Rod Gerald under center.
Gotta think the returned players were crucial for OSU. They’d be what, 6-1, 5-2 with those guys playing the entire year-to-date?
The second half of the clip is both hilarious and pathetic. 1976? I was 1. The worst part is that those ’76 Buckeyes attempted 97 passes all year, riding their rushing attack to a 9-2-1 record, a #6 final ranking and a win in the Orange Bowl. The Fighting Illini went 5-6 but beat the same Missouri team that beat Ohio State, 31-6.
LOSER: Those do-everything quarterbacks I was so proud of last week. So, Taylor Martinez had the week off, so he’s off the hook. Denard Robinson and Nathan Scheelhaase, though? Last week, the two QBs averaged 267 yards passing, 102 yards rushing, and four TDs in their team’s victories. Extrapolate those types of numbers over 12 or 13 games, and you’ve got a Heisman finalist.
Extrapolating single games out for a year is stupid, though, because on Saturday, those numbers dropped substantially. Scheelhaase threw for 169 yards and rushed for 49 more, while Robinson’s numbers were a dismal 9-24 for 123 yards passing (one TD) and 18 rushes for 42 yards (another TD).
Misery loves company. The comfort we can take from this is that Michigan faced the same MSU team that’s been playing the whole year, while the Illini faced a significantly stronger Buckeye team.
Miller dropped back to pass roughly a dozen times in Champaign, and was sacked on four of them. He scrambled on approximately four more. Of the four passes that actually left his hand, three fell incomplete.
One for flippin’ 12. Also, Tressel doesn’t drink Cabernet. I’m pegging him for Riesling, a sweet one at that. Never let someone in a sweatervest pick the wine.
“Tonight was a match filled with mixed emotions,” said MSU head coach Cathy George. “On one hand, it is great to see the girls fight back from being down 2-0 and go five with the No. 1 team in the nation
Stop right there. Nice to hear that: “No. 1 team in the nation”
Finally, not exactly out of town news, but this should be fun to take a look at, if inconclusive:
Nice to see this…Not too many conclusions can be drawn from a somewhat blurry 2-minute clip (though I think I saw some good stuff), so I’ll offer a few identifiers to help the viewing experience.
Long gray sleeves, orange: Myke Henry and Devin Langford.
Long blue sleeves, blue: Mike Shaw.
Short white guy, orange: Sam Maniscalco.
White tunic, tall, orange: Ibby Djimde (god, that’s fun to say!).
White tunic, tall, blue: Nnanna Egwu.
Long white sleeves, blue: Tracy Abrams.
Rumor: I hear there’s some post moves in this clip. Shhhhhh….don’t tell nobody.