September 16, 2007

Why not Illinois?

The Orange&Blue News' breaks down the rest of the Illini football schedule, give our reasons why we think Ron Zook's team should go bowling and discusses the implications of the Demetrius Jones transfer in this report.

Five reasons why the Illini should go bowling this year
Veterans are playing very well
Leman, Miller, Mitchell, O'Donnell, McDonald, Steele, and other Illini juniors and seniors are playing well, providing leadership that hasn't been there all the time in Zook's first two seasons.

The Defense
Teams that run the spread will have opportunities to take advantage of this defense but how many of them have a QB like Chase Daniel of Mizzou, Kellen Lewis of Indiana to beat the Illini defense? As long as the offense doesn't turn the ball over, special teams are adequate, the defense will keep Illinois in every game this year.

Bigger, faster, more physical
Illinois now can line up and run the ball at anyone in the Big Ten, go man on man and see if the opponents defense can stop them. That hasn't happened in awhile. How much more physical Illinois is on both sides of the line from two years ago is very impressive to me.

The Big Ten
The league is mediocre at best. I expect Illinois to beat one of the Big Three at home (Michigan, Penn State or Wisconsin), end their losing streak to Northwestern, win homecoming and before you know it, six wins and bowl eligible.

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