blueollie

Illinois loves Lovie (for now…)

Ok, the wait is over and almost 49,000 people showed up to watch Illinois play Murray State. Yes, this is an unusually large crowd for Illinois vs. an FCS team, especially a team not from Illinois.

babsmeilmurraystate

Yes, a friend trolled me and I couldn’t resist using the retouched selfie. I changed my seats to move to the 30 yard line:

illmurraystatesecondquarter

Note the almost full lower deck. That is unusual for us; this was more typical:

illinistadium

The game turned out 52-3, which was the score of last year’s opener against Kent State.

Murray State got the ball first and promptly threw an interception (the quarterback was sacked 6 times and had no time to throw). Illinois got the ball at the 30 and scored. Next possession: a longer interception, and Illinois cashed in with a bomb play to go up 14-0 early.

Illinois also got a short field on a bad punt and took advantage, and then broke a pair of 56 yard touchdown runs. Murray State had one drive for a missed field goal and made one.

illmurrarystate The starters added one more touchdown in the 3’rd quarter to make it 42-3 at which point the reserves took over. The second team offense drove for 10 more points (including a 48 yard field goal in the 4’th quarter; they wanted to give the kicker some game action. Later, the 3’rd team quarterback got to play a bit.

So it is hard to say much. The team DID look more disciplined than before, but this was a physical mismatch. Ranked North Carolina comes to town next Saturday, and then Western Michigan, who is picked to win the MAC and who beat Northwestern, follows.

What I project: between 1-3 more home wins (favor the Illini against Purdue; Minnesota and Western Michigan are toss-ups), and a possible road win (Rutgers, MAYBE Northwestem). Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin (road), North Carolina, Iowa and Michigan State at home: OUCH.

September 4, 2016 - Posted by | college football, football |

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