It’s finally game week and Coach Tim Beckman addressed the media on Monday as Illinois football continues preparation for Youngstown State.
Among the things Beckman addressed:
- The right tackle spot will be finalized on Thursday to give some guys three more days to compete. Pat Flavin would get the start right now, but Christian DiLauro could compete for the starting job by Thursday.
- The team is more mature than a year ago. Beckman believes the optimism by players has to do with that fact, and there’s a belief in the system and a belief in one another that Illini Nation hasn’t seen in recent years.
- Kenny Nelson’s biggest strength is his length at the defensive end position. Nelson, Jihad Ward, and Paul James are on this defense to add length in the Orange & Blue defense.
- Offensively, Youngstown State is going to run a lot of spread and overload opponents in the passing game.
- Defensively, Youngstown will play a ton of zone and will have a bit of an Ohio State flavor because of the coaching staff.
- Reilly O’Toole and Aaron Bailey could be used at different positions in the offense. O’Toole has lined up at wide receiver in some packages during practice this training camp.
- Illinois needs to prove itself this weekend against Youngstown State. Team needs to take it “one game at a time” and “start fast this season.”
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