Illinois-Minnesota Football liveblog

Ok, I just watched the exciting Ohio State vs. Michigan football game which Michigan won 40-34; the game was sealed when OSU failed on 4’th down with 39 seconds to go.

One weird play: with 2:38 left, Michigan evidently scored a touchdown which would have put them up 44-34 (after hthe PAT). But a video review showed (maybe) that the knee was down when the ball was just outside the end zone. So on 3’rd and goal from the one inch line, the Michigan quarterback scored….but then the touchdown was called back by a holding call…and then it was followed by a dead ball personal foul. Michigan lost 25 yards! They made the field goal to go up by 6, leading to the exciting conclusion.

What surprised me: Ohio State’s passing game. It is MUCH imrproved from a few weeks ago.

Michigan out gained Ohio State 462 to 368, but a fumble and a dropped punt snap lead to Ohio State scores. OSU threw one interception on their last possession of the game.

Illinois vs. Minnesota

I picked Illinois to win this game; the reason is that Minnesota’s Sagarin rating is 61.76, which fits right in with the Sagarin ratings of Illinois first 6 opponents (average 66.7; highest was Arizona State at 77; next was Arkansas State and Northwestern at 71).

But Coach Zook’s job is in jeopardy. Here is the main reason why (I think)

This was right before Kickoff at the Illinois-Wisconsin game. Note that Wisconsin came in ranked and the day was in the 50’s; not bad for November in Illinois. 45,000 fans in a 60,000 seat stadium isn’t going to cut it.

Now back to the game

So far, Minnesota has had 3 full possessions and 3 first downs and three punts. Illinois has had zero first downs and Scheelhaase has been sacked twice…already! The bright spot is that the Illinois punts (3 of them) have been effective.

The line has opened no holes and has not given time to throw.

First quarter: -9 yards rushing; 6 yards total offense and zero first downs. Ugh.

Next possession: sacked again! Scheelhaase is taking another beating; he has been sacked 3 times. Well…we got a fumble so this time Illinois fumbled before they could punt.

Touchdown Minnesota; quarterback keep up the middle for 16 yards. 7-0 gophers. Total yards: 83-3 in favor of the Gophers.

Well, progress for the Illini on the next series: 3 plays and no fumble, though Scheelhaase got sacked again (4 times!).

Minnesota IS moving the ball however. 46 yard drive, touchdown Gophers. 14-0;
Total yards: 131 to ZERO. Good gracious.

Illinois puts in O’Toole as quarterback. Uh, quarterbacks don’t block. Hey, Illinois picked up all of 8 yards on that drive; that is progress, I guess.

Oh goodness; their quarterback is running on us, scrambling and making passes. I am beginning to think that they wish that they could play us every game.

Well, the defense held them to a field goal. Total yards: 192 to 8, Gophers. 17-0.


Best play of the half for the Illini; Pollard makes a nice kickoff return to the Illinois 31.

Illinois FIRST DOWN…first one with 50 seconds to go!!!!!

Dropped pass. Illegal procedure penalty. Well…zero yards on the second series of downs. That last play was so poorly blocked it looked like a screen pass. Now they have the ball at their own 40.

They move it 26 yards and hit a 51 yard field goal. 20-0 Gophers.
Note: the announcers said that Minnesota looks like a 9-2 team. Well, look at who they are playing. Total yards: 218-19.
We are making them look like LSU.

Second Half
One first down so far , all on running. The line is opening some holes for a change. Well…ONE first down. When Illinois went to passes, the quarterback had no time to throw.

Hew Minnesota took 4 minutes to move 57 yards and score a touchdown. 27-0 Gophers. Egad.

Next possession: fake punt was well executed; Illinois first down. There haven’t been many.

Another first down; Illinois is at their own 45. That is as deep as they have gone. OMG, another first down; in Minnesota territory for the first time. The no-huddle seems to work.

Personal foul on Minnesota…late hit out of bounds. Illinois has its first threat!

Touchdown; Pollard on the ground. The line tends to block better from the no-huddle.

Hey, Illinois gets a stop; Mercilus got a sack and the special teams force a bad punt.
There is hope; I had thought that when it went to 27-0 that the team had quit.

Goodness; the offense went backwards; 4’th and 28. Now they have it at their 40.

End of the third: total yards are now “only” 270 to 119, but the lead is still 20 and the Gophers are driving.
The bright spot: the fake punt for 9 yards, and 76 rushing yards in the third quarter.

Minnesota dropped a pass and so had to punt; Illinois ball on the 15. Will there be another long drive or the usual?
One first down on the ground. Unfortunately we are at a place where everything has to go right, and they seldom do.

Break on a punt; now Illinois starts in Minnesota territory but a pass receives a dubious “no call for interference”. Scheelhaase played one play, now O’Toole comes in?

First down at the Gopher 22….still some hope.
Down to the 10…another first down! The hurry up offense is working.

But only 7:08 is left.

Got it to the 10; then on 4’th and goal from the 4, the team executed poorly and the quarterback was trapped for a loss. Now Minnesota has drove it a bit and there are 3:00 to go.

At least the Illinois coaching staff hasn’t quit; they called a time out with 2:49 to go.

Well, the quarterback called a keeper and have got it to the Illinois 48. Minnesota is just running the ball now.

Final: 27-7 Gophers. This is by far Illinois worst loss of the year.

(photos mostly from yahoo)


November 26, 2011 Posted by | college football, football | | Leave a comment

Stats, cells and ice

Great Scientists: not always right about every science issue. Jerry Coyne presents a great example of this.

Statistics This is a cute little article about the normal distribution that should be understandable by the non-mathematically inclined.

Economics Paul Krugman points out that it really isn’t the 99 percent vs. the 1 percent but rather the 99.9 percent vs. the 0.1 percent.

Frogs and Toads The Texas wildfires are endangering the rare Houston toad.

Death in the sea: there are conditions by which the cruelly cold conditions above the sea can seep into the lower, warmer depths via “brine-cicles”.

I wonder how this affects the water currents around these things. But this is a classic case in which there can be localized variations leading to non-homogenous situations.

November 26, 2011 Posted by | biology, economics, economy, evolution, mathematics, physics, science, statistics | Leave a comment

FOLEPI 4 Mile race: 2011 edition

I did this race in 2008; my time for that one was 31:26.
Note: I was in the lower 24’s for the 5K during this era.

Today: rainy. I got to the race later than normal; they didn’t have my bib number nor shoe tag so I had to get that fixed.
I took one of the later buses to the start line; this race is point to point and features about a 300 foot elevation drop.

The day was chilly (high 40’s-low 50’s;(10 C)) and rainy.
The bus was crowded and a spandex clad young woman sat next to me. She told someone else: “there is room for three on this seat” and pressed up against me. That bothered me sooooooo much. 🙂 (she is a newer runner who is working up to a half marathon).

I had time to jog about .7 of a mile or so; I needed some warm up, but I wanted to avoid going out too fast. Evidently, I went out too fast anyway, though that wasn’t clear until the last .7 miles or so when I got worn down.

I was closer to Lupe Martinez than prudent and I was ahead of Mike Rucker for a while; that was a mistake. Still, I really didn’t feel THAT bad; those 8 x 400 with 200 meter float workouts are paying dividends. But I don’t have the “running strength” that comes from doing longer tempo runs and those 8-10 milers. I need to work up to those if I want to be effective in distances over 5K.

Back to the race: I started gently and moved out to 7:59 for mile 1. The course really started to drop and I did the second mile in 7:44 (15:44); I felt as if I were staying within myself. The next mile didn’t have as steep of a drop but I kept the turn over up and I hit that in 7:49 (23:32 for 3 miles; roughly 24:22 for 5K). I felt ok but was tiring….then about .2 miles into it I gave in and walked…started up and walked again. Finally I made myself go slowly and then gradually picked it up; it was here when I lost places…a lot of places.

Mike Rucker got me back and Lupe was out of sight.

I picked it up again and saw the clock under 32; I started to pick it up. An XC coach yelled “look at the clock” and I tried to get 32 but had no “sprint”. That last mile took me 8:22 and got me into 31:55 (my watch) and 32:02 official. I did take a few counts to get to the start line as it was a flag start and I didn’t get to the start line right away.

So, I wish that I could have toughed it out; looking back on it I would have take an few “short easy strides” before walking.

But this represents another improvement; evidently my body is starting to “get” running again.

Fun: Theresa joked with me that I’d beat her by at least 5 minutes; it turns out that the margin was about 5:30. That surprised me a bit; she was ahead of me this summer .

November 26, 2011 Posted by | running, time trial/ race | Leave a comment

Peoria Trot for Tots 2011

This is a 2 mile run along the parade route. Last year, it took me 17:02.

Yes, this is me:

This year saw an all-but-perfect day and I was out there. I lined up slightly further up and went after people. I caught a few at about 9 minutes, but got nailed a few times down the stretch; the ultimate “insult” is when a young girl outkicked me at the finish line. 🙂

Nevertheless, I finished in 15:16 which is much better than I’ve done in the recent past, though this used to be my half marathon pace.

Note: this was a hard effort for me; I could NOT have kept this up for 5K. At the end I was seriously talking myself out of walking; being on the parade route and having some wind at my back at the end helped.

November 26, 2011 Posted by | running, time trial/ race, training | Leave a comment