From 1975 (Junior year in high school) to the present: that is 38 years. During that time I watched the following:
9 complete seasons of University of Texas football home games (save two games during those years):
1975, 1976, 1981 (first year after graduation), 1985-1990
4 complete seasons of Navy football (1977-1980)
2 complete seasons of Illinois State football (1992-1993)
3 complete seasons of Illinois football (2011-2013)
The strongest teams: Texas 1981 (10-1-1, Cotton Bowl win), 1990 (10-2, Cotton Bowl loss)
Texas had other winning teams; Navy went 5-6, 9-3, 7-4, 8-4 during my years there.
I watched one national championship team (Colorado beat Texas in 1990; good game), a couple of teams that went undefeated in the regular season (Texas vs. North Texas in 1983; I was on leave and caught a game), Miami vs. Iowa in 1992 (lost the Sugar Bowl to Alabama), and MAYBE Ohio State this year vs. Illinois.
Yes, I follow Notre Dame too but have only seen one home game (vs. Navy in 1979); I’ve seen them against Navy in 1980 and in 1984 (in New Jersey; Giants Stadium), against Purdue in 1991 and 1995 (at Purdue) and against Texas A & M in 1988 (got blown out in the Cotton Bowl; won the NC the following year).
I’ve seen Texas on the road (vs. Penn State in 1984, New Jersey), at Baylor twice and at Houston and twice against Oklahoma. I’ve seen Navy at Air Force (1980) and at Virginia (1983) (both losses); I’ve also caught Texas games while on leave or vacations.
I was once a guest at the Michigan vs. Penn State game (at Michigan) in 2002.
Bowls: 8 Cotton (1986-1991, 1995, 1998), Alamo (2000), Garden State (1980), Go Daddy (2011).
Professional: I’ve seen a few USFL games (at Washington, at College Park, Tampa) and some NFL games: Patriots (several), Rams (several, including one in Anaheim), Bears (once), the Baltimore Colts (once), Cowboys (once) and Tampa Bay (once). I’ve seen three Super Bowl champions (Washington 1982 vs. Tampa, San Francisco vs. Dallas in 1988, New Orleans vs. St. Louis in 2010).
I was taken to the Browns vs. 49′ers in 1962 but don’t remember it.
I’ve even caught the local NAIA team (Eureka) a couple of times.
Imagine had I done something productive with my time instead!
(hat tip: Lee)
Note: Green Bay has bigger problems than their missing their starting quarterback, and so far, the Raiders are vastly outplaying the Cowboys. It is only the first half though.
I am old enough to remember when the Cowboys and Raiders were both relevant…during the SAME SEASON! They used to both be perennial powers in the NFL; always a threat to win the Super Bowl or at least go deep in the play-offs.
First, kudos to the Rams and the Jones Dome for exchanging our tickets for handicapped accessible tickets. They really helped. We had no problems.
I was excited about going to watch the Rams play the Bears and Barbara didn’t want to let her broken foot stop her.
The game itself: the final was 42-21 Rams, but the game was more competitive than that. Basically, the Rams scored 14 points in the first 2:30 of the game and 14 points in the final 3 minutes of the game. The Bears sort-of controlled play in the middle of the game…well….sort of. The did out gain the Rams 424 to 406, but suffered two key turn-overs that lead to Rams touchdown, and also got down to the Ram 1 yard line and ended up with zero points.
It was a bizarre game.
On the third play from scrimmage the Rams lined up in an empty backfield and then ran what appeared to be a reverse: but Tavon Austin did a planned cut back to his right and picked up pulling linemen who got blocks, as did the wide receiver. It was one of the best executed plays I’ve ever seen.
7-0 Rams! Then after a “block in the back” penalty pinned the Bears deep, they fumbled on their own 7 and the Rams recovered. The offense took it in, aided by a pass interference penalty. 14-0 with 12:36 left in the first quarter.
The Bears, mostly on runs by Forte (who has huge holes to run through) marched it 80 yards to make it 14-7, and the game was on!
Then it was the Rams’ turn; they went 80 yards for a touchdown (mostly on running). 21-7, and it was still the first quarter!
Things got really strange in the 2′nd quarter.
There was an exchange of punts when things got weird. The Bears started in their territory and the Rams put a huge rush on the passer who threw the ball away; it was tipped. The Rams defensive back, thinking that it may have been a fumble, picked up the ball and tried to run it back, only to have a Bears player tackle him by grabbing the face mask blatantly; the Rams player whirled around in the air but wasn’t hurt. Upfield, a Bears offensive lineman (Kyle Long, a brother of the Rams defensive lineman Chris Long) got in a fight! Chris pulled Kyle off and calmed him down.
So there were three flags against the Bears; the Rams took the third personal foul. So it was third and super long…but on the next play: defensive holding …..first down Bears!
So the Bears marched it down for a touchdown, getting good yardage from passing to Brandon Marshal on the drive.
So it was 21-14.
But the Rams drove for a field goal with just over a minute to play, and when the Bears got the ball back, they played it safe (being deep in their own territory). 24-14 at the half.
The Bears got the ball in the second half and drove the ball down to the Rams 1 yard line where they had it 4′th and goal.
The went for it.
STUFFED!!! The Rams hit Bush (the ball carrier) in the backfield.
The Rams, mostly on running, drove it down to get a field goal, and so it was 27-14 going into the 4′th.
Then things got really weird.
There was an exchange of punts and then it appeared the Hester broke a 62 yard punt return for a touchdown. But it was called back for a holding penalty. Still, the Bears drove the ball and after a pass interference penalty (a correct call), with 10:18 left in the game, the Bears had the ball first and goal at the St. Louis 1.
The Bears got stuffed on a run, but then got a defensive holding penalty against the Rams. First and goal at the 1, AGAIN. A run gets stuffed again, and the Bears throw a touchdown pass, but there is holding. So back 10 yards, the Bears throw a 12 yard pass to the 1 and on third and 1: incomplete pass as the quarterback is hit hard while throwing the ball; I wonder if it is a fumble. BUT….in a bizarre call, the hit on the quarterback (shoulder to chest) was called “roughing the passer”. I’d never seen such a call; the hit knocked the ball loose.
St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers was already on the sideline before he realized he’d been called for a roughing the passer penalty late in Sunday’s win against the Chicago Bears.
Brockers had just burst through the middle and dropped Bears quarterback Josh McCown with a vicious, but clean hit, and the Rams appeared poised to have another goal-line stand to help seal the win.
“I got most of my explanation from my teammates on the sideline,” Brockers said. “I didn’t even know it was a roughing the passer until I got to the sideline. But I was thinking about it, I was like what are you going to do? It was a bang-bang play.”
In the official pool report after the game, referee Jerome Boger said the penalty was called because in his view Brockers led with his head and put it into McCown’s chest. Replays showed Brockers’ head clearly to the side of McCown as he completed the tackle.
“When I got to the sidelines they were like ‘That’s roughing the passer,’” Brockers said. “I was like ‘Really?’ I thought I hit him clean but hey, I’m lost for words. It is what it is, I just go on to the next one. If I get fined, I’ll just appeal it and explain what I was thinking on that play.”
Fist and goal at the 1, AGAIN. The Bears score with 7:15 left; the first and goal at the 1 ended up as a touchdown, THREE MINUTES later.
It is now 27-21 and the Bears have some momentum, or so it appeared.
Then the Rams marched it down the field mainly on running (258 yards rushing for the game) and with 3 minutes left in the game, punched it in and made the 2 point conversion. 35-21 Rams.
The Bears try to rally but a strip sack lead to a fumble return for a touchdown with 2:05 to go; the Bears have only 1 timeout.
42-21, and that is how it ended.
The Rams gave up “yards between the 20s” but played stout red zone defense.
It was the best I’ve seen them look in person.
So, Illinois gains 615 yards total offense and scores 35 points. But they gave up 650 yards and 52 points; 7 of those were set up by a botched fake punt.
The offense, save the botched fake punt, played well enough to win but the defense did nothing at all…and yes, I know that Indiana can score.
Illinois actually lead 28-21 in the second half, for a few seconds anyway. I allowed my hopes to get up.
Then I watched (switched between) Texas vs. West Virginia and Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh.
West Virginia is not a good team but they still got 399 yards against Texas, though the Texas defense got 5 turn overs (3 fumbles, 2 interceptions) and that kept UT in it and allowed for a 40-40 tie in regulation (which UT had to rally to do with 16 seconds to go, moving after a short punt).
But Texas found a way to win against a so-so team on the road….however I see two possible losses down the road (Oklahoma State and Baylor).
Notre Dame also faced a mediocre opponent on the road (4-4 Pittsburgh) and did NOT find a way to win.
Irish fans can bellyache about a ticky-tack “targeting call” that took one of their defensive linemen out of the game, but that did NOT cause the turnovers. Pitt just played better football, period.
The final was 28-21, Pitt.
ND faces BYU and Stanford in its last two games; the former is a toss-up; the latter is a long shot.
Navy managed to win 42-28 over Hawaii (a game I didn’t see but followed on the internet)
Navy is 5-4 but the next win (South Alabama whose losses have all been close, San Jose State and Army) will not be a “give away”. Navy can win these games but will have to play well; they should remember last year’s San Jose State game.
In professional: I missed the Rams beating the Colts 38-8; I sure hope they play that way in their final 3 home games (Bears, Saints, Bucs). I have my tickets.
This was my first Rams game of the season; I had lower level tickets (Section 146, near the top) to watch the Titans take on the Rams. We were sitting among season ticket holders who knew one another; they were both enthusiastic but fun to be around.
The Rams lost 28-21 when their 4′th down pass from the 32 yard line went just out of reach. The Titans winning score came with just under 3 minutes to go in the game when they ran it in after the Rams quarterback was sacked and fumbled.
The game itself was competitive with the teams taking turns on long drives.
The Titans opened up the game with a long touchdown drive based on running.
The Rams had a nice drive of their own, only to end it with a fumble; the running back was untouched when he fumbled, though it wasn’t clear (from where I was sitting) if the hand-off had been executed properly or he just lost control of the ball.
The Rams got the ball back and drove it 80 yards for a score to tie it at 7, which was the half-time score. The Rams forced an interception toward the end of the first half but missed a 44 yard field goal.
The second half started with a bang: another 80 yard drive and the Rams took a 14-7 lead.
The teams traded punts and then traded long touchdown drives; all knotted at 21. The statistics were as even as could be; both teams ran the ball in between the tackles and had effective short passing games.
Then in the 4′th a drive by the Titans (with featured a 45 yard “run after catch”) ended in an interception (receiver and quarterback read different defenses).
But then the Rams got sacked; fumbled at their own 19, and then the Titans took it in to take a 28-21 lead with just under 3 minutes to go.
The Rams stalled; had to punt, allowed Titans one first down prior to getting it back with just over 1 minute to go…but with no time outs.
A punt return set the Rams in business but the Rams could do no better than get a 4′th and 4 at the Titan 32 with 16 seconds to go; they took at shot at the end zone which failed.
Still, I enjoyed the game; it was very competitive.
I have to hand it to my wife: she was great company.
I think that Tim Tebow would be an excellent fit for the Rams.
After all, at home games, one frequently hears the entire stadium yelling JESUS CHRIST all at one time…
Two dozen former Fighting Illini football players are on active 53-man rosters for the 2013 NFL opening weekend, two more than last season and the fifth most among Big Ten teams behind Ohio State (31), Iowa (26), Penn State (25) and Wisconsin (25).
The list includes five rookies – Michael Buchanan, Glenn Foster, Graham Pocic, Akeem Spence and Hugh Thornton – and a bevy of veterans like Vontae Davis, David Diehl, Rashard Mendenhall, Pierre Thomas and Steve Weatherford to name a few. In addition, one former Illini, Justin Green, was named to the New England Patriots’ practice squad. Look for weekly Illini in the NFL updates throughout the season HERE.
FIVE rookies from last year’s 2-10 team made the NFL this year?
So, how well did Illinois do in Big Ten play?
That is 8-24 over the past 4 years; average of 2-6. Or, 18-38 over the past 7 years for an average of 2.6-5.4.
Something doesn’t compute here.
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