Last long and Illini special teams

Today’s Illinois football game was set for 6:30 pm and so I walked longish in the morning.

I wore long sleeves (2 shirts) though it wasn’t cold; I modified the first part of Boredem by taking the bike path back from Bishop hill. I also had a spur in lower Glenn Oak park (to get 18) and then did some wide swings to avoid traffic on the way back. I did slow some toward the end.

I saw deer, a squirrel with a mouse (yes, squirrels will sometimes eat mice) and a riverboat.

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Not the best focused photo. But I had company.

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On my 30 km training walk.

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Then, after Indian food, it was onward to Champaign, where the promised monsoon conditions did not materialize (yes, I was comfortable with a sweatshirt and vest).

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Storm clouds in Champaign.

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12 min. to kickoff. 3 in 1.

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Here is some early action:

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Early action. 7 to 0 Leathernecks.

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And, as usual, though it was 14-7 at the half, Illini “fans” left and by the end of the (very long) game, the place was all but empty.

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27 to 14. Fans have left. About to be 34 to 14

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The game itself:

It ended 34-14 but the first quarter didn’t go well, at all. Western got the opening kickoff and drove it..easily. 7-0; total yards were totally dominated by them.

But some key things happened in the second quarter. First, the starting Illinois quarterback got hurt and a freshman went in and played reasonably well.

But the real key came after a stopped drive: the Illini pulled off a pooch punt off of a fake field goal. That set up a short field (after the defense got a stop) and the Illini drove for a 45 yard touchdown drive which appeared to switch momentum. Another drive put the Illini up 14-7 at the half.

3’rd quarter: running set up a field goal and a 17-7 lead. Then came another exchange of punts which pinned Western Deep. Blocked punt! That made it 24-7.

But then Western’s passing game lead to a 75 yard drive to make it 24-14 going into the 4’th quarter.

Western was threatening and inside the Illni 20 when a hard, but clean hit after a catch caused a fumble which not only stopped a scoring drive but lead to a field goal and a 27-14 lead.

Then WIU threw into triple coverage which lead to an “almost pick 6” (down to the 3) when the Illini punched it in.

More desperate passes lead to yardage, but another interception.

Total yards: only 376 to 361 (Illini had 238 rushing and continually made good yardage off of an off tackle play). But the Illini will struggle against USF and against Big Ten competition.

We may have seen our final win of the year, though 1-2 more wins is POSSIBLE.

September 9, 2018 - Posted by | college football, football, walking |

1 Comment »

  1. […] to a game where Illinois State hosted Western Illinois. And this game sort of reminded me of the Western Illinois at Illinois game. In the Champaign game, Western drove for a touchdown on their opening drive. The Illini took a […]

    Pingback by A bit of college football « blueollie | October 7, 2018 | Reply

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