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Sweet! Bears take down the Rams 15-6 in a great defensive effort

As far as the game itself, this graphic really tells the story:

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Total domination by the #MonstersOfTheMidway. 😤

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And of the 6 points; 3 of those were set up with an early interception that set up the Rams at the Bears 15 (opening series). The other 3 was a 50 yard field goal off of a short drive to tie it at 6.

The Bears offense sputtered though and the quarterback threw 2 ugly interceptions ..each of which set the Rams up in scoring position, though the Bears defense got one of their interceptions on the next play.

I thought that the Rams had momentum in the second quarter after a Bears interception, which put the Bears at first and goal at the Rams 5 yard line, lead to only a field goal.

That lead to a wild exchange in the final 2 minutes of the half which saw the Bears force a punt, throw a pick and then get the pick right back, only to stall, punt, and have the Rams fail on a “Hail Mary” before the half.

But the second half: opening kick off pinned the Rams at their own 5 (after penalties) and lead to a “sack/safety”…that put the Bears up 8-6…then an 81 yard drive finished the Rams off.

Yes, 15-6 was not an insurmountable lead but..a Rams drive ended with a missed field goal; and the Bears stout defense did the rest.

Great defensive ball game!

Our experience: I splurged for United Club seats (got them early, when few suspected this would be a battle of division leaders)

It WAS cold (mid 20’s to the teens) BUT there was little wind..and people in the stadium made it less cold than an Illinois game.

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Jump around! Bears D holds!

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Though we were on the top (3 rows from the top) of the 300 United Club level, they were great seats.

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Rams threatening

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To make matters better; going to and from Chicago was easy as it ever was…very, very easy.

I am glad that we went.

Commentary
Though I go to a lot of games, being an Illinois, Bradley (basketball) and Chiefs (A) fan, I rarely see games of national importance. This game WAS..national audience, two good teams.

Last year’s Ohio State vs. Iowa upset was a bit like that. I saw an Colts vs. Bengals playoff game a few years ago…a Lakers vs. Spurs playoff game in 1988 (Magic Johnson, Kareem Jabbar championship team) and a couple of big Cotton Bowl matchups (Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M, Miami vs. Texas). But these sort of games are rare for me…

December 11, 2018 Posted by | football, NFL, travel | | Leave a comment

Bumbling out of the Thanksgiving break (still a bit whiny)

No, the break was not a total loss; I got a lovely long walk with Lynnor, a Turkey Trot, (best 3 mile/5k of the year), no weight gain,

a basketball game (vs. an overmatched opponent) and an exciting NFL game.
I also got, well, a very long drive home which was “sort of normal rainy weather) for 170 miles, sucky snowstorm for 30 miles, and dreadful for the final 10 (blizzard, white out)
I was a bit like Mr. Magoo and drove about 20 mph for stretches. I was lucky it was 11:30 pm and hardly anyone else was on the road.

Oh yes, prior to the NFL game, I got in a nice 4 mile run (42:07) on the treadmill, even though the weather was good outside. And I treated myself to a nice burger at a gourmet burger place, though it was not as good as “Smokey Burger” in Peoria.

The Basketball game:

Bradley won 86-70; aside from early moments when Chicago State hit a few three point shots, it wasn’t that competitive. BU’s lead built up to the mid 20’s (and yes, the spread was 25).

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Chicago State at Bradley. CSU up early.

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Then came a long drive to Indianapolis that I talked about in my previous post…

The next day: NFL.

Dolphins at Colts

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Colts rally from 24-14 down to tie with 4:25 to go.

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Seats: section 529; not bad seats. Not quite as good as we had for the Bills game (one level up) but this section had two entrance and exits; very little bother with people coming and going.

The game: interesting; the Dolphins opened with an excellent drive; Colts responded and it was 7-7. Then came a punt, Colts fumble, then an exchange of punts until the Colts drove for a touchdown. But 2 plays later, the Dolphin wide receiver found single coverage with no deep help; made an excellent play on the ball and ran it in. 14-14 going into the half, though the final minute saw THREE turnovers: Colts threw an interception, Dolphins fumbled, Colts another interception.

Second half: a Colt punt was partially blocked which set up a field goal. The Colts drove but then what looked like to me as a partially blocked field goal (after a sack) put the Dolphins in business again and they took advantage, scoring a touchdown to take a 24-14 lead with 13 minutes to play.

But then the Colts rallied for a field goal off of a drive, and the Dolphins went conservative and got stuffed. A punt lead to a Colt touchdown drive. But on the touchdown pass, the Dolphin defender hit the Colt receiver late (after the end zone catch was secured) and drew a key penalty. So it was 24-24 and now the Colts kicked off from the 50.

They did a “pooch” kick that pinned the Dolphins at their own 6. They played it safe (4 minutes to go) and got nowhere and had to punt. The Colts drove it, hitting a key pass and the Dolphins had only 2 time outs left. So the Colts were able to run the clock down to 3 seconds before winning the game on a short field goal on the final play of the game.

So the game WAS exciting.

The drive back…ugh…been through that though.

And so today…I did not do much; too tired and sleepy; did some shoveling and taking the hostage to the doctor for a procedure (senior citizen’s date?)

November 27, 2018 Posted by | basketball, family, football, NFL, relationships, running | , | Leave a comment

College football: midweek:

Ok, here is what I said last week:

College football:

Illinois at Nebraska: Huskers favored by 17 (down from 18). ESPN: Neb. 80.1 percent chance of winning. Both teams blew out MN by similar scores; Illini have a better record but an easier schedule. Neb. is improving but should they be 17 point favorites? Nebraska won by 22 last year in Champaign.

Neb. to win, Illini to cover (no confidence in this pick though)

Navy 24.5 point underdogs to UCF (95.7). This one could get ugly; Navy is punch drunk from playing some good teams (lost to ND by 22, 42-0 to Cincinnati). UCF to win and cover; they will be looking for style points.

ND 16.5 point favorites over Florida State. (90.9 percent favorites). ND wants style points but FSU, while not playing well at all this season,still has first rate talent. Time and time again, talented but underachieving teams have pulled off “back against the wall” upsets by playing really well, for one game. Trap game for ND. I pick ND to pull it out, but FSU to cover and play well.

Texas: 1.5 point favorites at Texas Tech; ESPN actually favors Tech 60.5 percent. UT really isn’t that good (nice win over Oklahoma aside). Red Raiders to win..hope I am wrong.

Win: Nebraska, UCF, ND, Texas Tech.
Cover: Illinois, UCF, FSU, Texas Tech.

How did I go: Navy played UCF tough, ND blew away Florida State, Nebraska ran all over Illinois (who turned the ball over 5 times, gave up a blocked punt and 606 total yards), and Texas beat Tech with 22 seconds to play.

So I went 3-1 straight up, 0-4 vs the spread,

Season record: 29-10 straight up, 14-23-1 vs. the spread.

I’ll say more about the upcoming games later, but as far as Illinois vs. Iowa (Iowa 16 point favorite at Illinois): Illinois has a decent ground game, but Iowa is no. 6 in the nation vs. the run. Purdue was the previous “best” running defense we faced and they skunked us. I see more of the same this weekend; Iowa wins something like 35-7.

Navy has a shot at a win vs. Tulsa, ND is favored by 9 over Syracuse in Yankee Stadium (who knows?) and Iowa State visits Texas in which should be the best game of the bunch. We shall see..more later.

Workout notes: 5 mile run in lane 2; 10:15 first mile then a bunch of 9:45 type miles (49:12 for 5) when I tired out; walked 1 more mile on the treadmill (at an incline). Weight: 190.3 before. Not that bad…things are looking up.

November 14, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, running | Leave a comment

College football: so far ..not doing great.

This is what I said last week:

ND at NW: if I didn’t have season tickets for Illinois, I’d be going to this game. ND is favored by 9.5 and has a 71.9 percent chance of winning this one, per ESPN power index. NW has been hot and cold, losing to Duke and Akron and barely beating a dreadful Rutgers team, but still whipping Michigan State, Wisconsin and giving Michigan all they could handle until the end (3 point loss).

Which NW team shows up? Which ND team shows up? I haven’t a clue. Note: NW has won the last two meetings (really).

Pick ND to win but NW to cover.

Navy at Cincinnati: Cincinnati favored by 13.5, ESPN gives them an 88.4 percent chance. Tough season for the Mids. Bearcat defense stops the run well and that is what Navy does. But does Navy’s ball control keep the score down a bit? They did hang with ND for a while.

Cincinnati to win, Navy covers.

West Virginia at Texas: Texas favored by 2; ESPN power index has this as a toss up UT 50.9 probability of winning).

Both teams have losses (UT Ok ST., MD, WVa: at Iowa State). I am honestly convinced that UT is overrated; Oklahoma was great win, but USC and TCU just aren’t that good. And West Virginia can pass the ball. Mountaineers to win.

Minnesota at Illinois: MN favored by 9.5; ESPN gives MN a 70.2 percent chance:

Illinois has perhaps the worst defense in the power 5 and one of the worst in FBS, period. Previous game: Illinois gave up 712 yards and 63 points to a so-so Maryland offense. It appears as if the coaching staff has no idea on how to teach and motivate college kids. MN coach DOES know how and that gives the Gophers the edge.

I am perhaps one of the half -dozen “non relative of the players/coaches” that actually cares about this game.

MN rows the boat past the floundering Illini and covers. It will be like last week where they had a 31-9 lead on Indiana, but this time the opponent doesn’t come back.

Win: ND, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Minnesota.
Cover: NW, Navy, West Virginia, Minnesota

I don’t feel too badly about missing the Navy vs. Cincinnati spread (it ended 42-0 UC) or even the ND at NW spread (31-21 ND..right on) and I was delighted to be right about Minnesota. I should have noticed that they got torched by Nebraska and Maryland in the same way…both on the road.

So for the season: 26-9 straight up, 14-19-1 vs. the spread.

Games this weekend: Illinois at Nebraska, Florida State at Notre Dame (kind of a mismatch this year), Texas at Texas Tech (should be excellent), Navy at Central Florida (ouch! will be ugly)

I’ll make picks later in the week. Also of interest: Illinois State visits Indiana State; ISU has dropped 3 in a row and is now 5-4, including 2-4 in conference play. I was thinking about “home playoff game” but …probably not. Northwestern visits Iowa and that sounds like a good one; I wish I could be there but will opt out and go to a Bradley basketball game instead.

Workout notes: 10K walk; wet pavement; gloomy skies but..well, still nice. And for the first time in well over a year, I am under 190! (189.5).

November 6, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, walking | Leave a comment

Illini roll to 55-31 victory over Gophers

Since I started to follow the team closely (as in: “go to the games” closely) the Illini haven’t won many Big Ten home games. And those they did win tended to be close: 2011: 3 points over NW, 2014: 4 over MN, 2 over Penn State, 2015: 1 over Nebraska (the 48-14 win was AT Purdue), 2016: 4 over Michigan State.

Saturday, they won by 24 over Minnesota, the largest margin of victory in a home Big Ten game since October 30, 2010 (vs. Purdue).

How they did it: HUGE plays: TD runs of 72, 72, 77 yards, pass of 67 and 30 yards, and big chunks on the other plays to set up shorter touchdowns Total: 646 yards of offense; enough to get the Minnesota defensive coordinator fired.

But interestingly enough, it was only 24-17 at the half. The Illini defense really shut down the Gophers in the second half until two late “garbage time” touchdown passes forged the final score a bit; by then it was 48-17. The Illinois offense had more chances to strike with their big plays.

Illinois struck quickly scoring on their first long run on the second play from scrimmage. Minnesota replied with a long drive on the ground to tie the score. The Illini added a field goal and another long touchdown before the Gophers added their second long touchdown drive to cut it to 17-14. Then came another Illini drive… then a key sequence of events toward the end of the half.

The Gophers had one seemingly final drive end on downs as the Illini defense stiffened in “4 down” territory. But the Illini threw and interception and the Gophers drove (and had an apparent fumble overturned upon review) and kicked a field goal just prior to the half.

The Illini put the game away in the 3’rd quarter. The defense got a stop; the offense got a long touchdown run to go up 31-17. The defense forced a fumble and the Illini offense converted to go up 38-17. Another stop, and another Illini touchdown drive to make it 45-17. A fumble lead to an Illini field goal at the 48-17 lead..at which time the teams exchanged garbage time touchdowns.

This is the best I’ve seen them look since 2014 when they beat a decent Minnesota team and Penn State team at home. Yes, those were close games, but the opponents were much better teams than this year’s Minnesota team.

Tracy went with me and I enjoyed her company greatly.

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Go Illini! Hosting Minnesota.

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More: as we walked to the stadium, we saw the band.

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We got there in time to see the band march by.

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Game action:

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Game action.

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Illini driving! 17-7 over Gophers.

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Though the sides were reasonably well filled (not the parts under the overhang) the upper deck was very sparsely populated.

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Halftime. I normally do not get this view.

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I was stunned:

And the team took a well deserved bow:

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Victory!

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I can say that I did NOT see this coming.

November 5, 2018 Posted by | college football, football | | Leave a comment

Grim football day but otherwise…

First things first: yesterday I drove Barbara to the airport for her to start her “slightly longer than 2 week” trip to the Middle East. I have 3 “bachelor weekends” and will probably catch at least 2 football games in those weekends and maybe a 4 mile race. There is an outside chance that I get a 3’rd game. I also had dinner with Tracy at Jerusalem Restaurant; it was fun watching her speak Hebrew with the owner.

And I had a decent run in cool weather; only 4.5 miles but it included a 1.4 mile warm up and 2.5 miles as follows: 11:17/11:11 22:29 (50 seconds slower than in 2016) This was “two loops of lower Bradley Park. I’d like to get this under 21 minutes; I’ll probably need to lose more weight to reach that goal. I am now at 191-193 lbs. and while that wasn’t a bad weight for me, say, 20-30 years ago, I no longer have as much muscle mass. I really should aim for the high 170’s.

College football I had predicted wins for Maryland, Notre Dame and Texas, though I had a bad feeling about the Texas game. Perhaps I should have honored that feeling? But the ESPN computer rated the game as a toss up and, on paper, UT appeared to have the better team. It WAS close but OSU hung on so I went 2-1 straight up.

Spread: stupidly, I changed my mind and picked the Illini to cover, based on Maryland’s offensive numbers. The only thing offensive was the Illini defense…63 points and 712 total yards to a team that got shut out and had 115 yards of total offense the week before! (ok, they were playing at Iowa). I went 0-3 vs. the spread this week. Last week I went 2-0 straight up, and 1-1 vs. the spread (damned Illini).

Season: 23-8 straight up, 13-16-1 vs. the spread..many of those losses were the Illini not covering (+18 MD, +25 WI, +10 Purdue). Even the line doesn’t recognize how terrible the Illini have become. Evidently I haven’t accepted it either.

Now about yesterday’s action: I caught the Illinois State game: they hosted South Dakota State. The computer showed most of the section (where I sat) as being full, but my guess is that they saved some for same day sales. Throughout the same there were 5 people in a row that sat 20 people. Still, there WAS a good crowd for “family day” (though many were NOT football fans) and both teams were top 10 in the FCS. And the action started quickly; the Jackrabbits scored in just over a minute via a 68 yard pass off of play action (defender bit on the run). Opening play: Redbirds hit an 81 yard TD pass off of a crossing route and with just over 1:30 gone it was 7-7.

The defenses controlled things for most of the rest of the half, though SDSU reached inside the 5 only to be thwarted via a 3’d down interception (one of the few bad passes their impressive QB threw all day).

But then came the unfortunate finish to the first half: there were just 5 minutes to go and a Jackrabbit punt had pinned the Redbirds at their own 11. They tried a swing pass and the receiver tried to circle back into the backfield as it was well covered. He fumbled and the Jackrabbits recovered inside the 5. They punched it in.

Next series the Redbirds fumbled the t-formation snap (under center) and the Jackrabbits cashed in, again. It was now 21-7 and the Jackrabbits forced a punt and used their time outs. Then they nailed a long bomb touchdown pass in which the defender, in single coverage, fell down (and injured his shoulder in the process). It was now 28-7 and a last second ISU drive ended in a missed field goal (to prove large later)

In the second half, ISU switched quarterbacks which appeared to help some (and they started to run more), but not right away. ISU threw an interception, exchanged punts, then a drive off a short field put SDSU up 35-7 well into the 3’rd quarter. ISU was to outscore SDSU 21-3 the rest of the way to lose 38-28 but, to be fair, two of the final touchdowns appeared to be “garbage time” touchdowns.

ISU ended up outgaining SDSU 445-390 but could not overcome that disastrous final 5 minutes of the first half. The Jackrabbits were very impressive.

My photos:

Band:

We had an Army helicopter fly-over (NOT my photo)

Seats they claimed that mine was the only one left in my section (when I bought them). Doesn’t appear that way, does it?

Action: (here is the first ISU fumble and SDSU about to cash in)

Later: SDSU fans still there though.

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Teams trade TDs. 35-14 Jackrabbits with 11:50 to go.

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On the way home, I got to listen to Illinois getting CREAMED by Maryland; I caught most of the second half on TV prior to picking up Tracy. It was 56-19 before the Illini got a couple of garbage time touchdowns..and gave up one too. Final: 63-33 Maryland. The Illini gave up 63 points and 712 yards of offense to a team that got 0 points with 115 yards of TOTAL offense against Iowa the week before.

Sorry, though the Illini have 3 wins this year after only 2 last year, one of those wins was due to playing an absolutely dreadful Rutgers team who has regressed from last year. In Big Ten play, aside from the 38-17 win over Rutgers, the Illini have lost 63-24, 46-7, 49-20 and 63-33. Last year, aside from the finishing 42-7 loss to Northwestern, the Illini were more competitive than that. I wonder if Coach Smith knows how to reach college players. I STILL think he was a good NFL coach, but coaching up elite, mature athletes is different than coaching up 2-3 star college kids.

I think that too many Illini fans, myself included, put too much stock in a close loss to USF (which is a good but not great “group of 5” team). I was NOT one of those who was impressed that the Illini lead Penn State 24-21 with 10 minutes to go in the 3’rd..I could NOT discount Penn State’s 42-0 finish (my wife warned me that the finish better reflected reality than the start).


October 28, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, Friends, running | , | Leave a comment

Back from Colts vs. Bills…

First things first: back in the saddle, workout wise. 41:52 for a 4 mile treadmill run; tried to run the final mile sub 9 but gave up 37 minutes and slowed it down a bit.

Yesterday, we went to the Colts vs. Bills; it was one sides 37-5; the Colts lead 24-0 at the half. A second half drive by the Bills cut the lead to 24-3, and an errant snap gave the Bills a safety. But overall, the Colts ran the ball very will running it for 220 yards.

Initially the teams traded punts (2 Bills, 1 Colts but then a long drive which went into the 2’nd quarter gave the Colts a 6-0 lead (kicker missed 2 extra points). The Bills responded with a nice drive but lost a fumble. 3 passes and a 2 point conversion put the Colts up 14-0. A third drive put the Colts up 21-0; then an interception set up a Colts field goal just before the half.

The Bills were to turn it over 3 more times in the second half; sack fumble, interception and an unlucky “off the tip” interception. That was 5 turn overs for the Bills.

Our seats were in section 424: not bad but they were on the aisle seats…and this row could only be entered from one side. So the lower rows of this section: I do NOT recommend that. Still, I enjoyed myself.

Barbara and Lynn were great company. Afterward: Saigon restaurant for Vietnamese food.

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Lucas. Bills at Colts!

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Barbara and Lynn

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A few empty seats.

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October 23, 2018 Posted by | football, Friends, NFL, running | | Leave a comment

Football and Volleyball thoughts

Last night: I saw Bradley Volleyball keep their third place position in the Missouri Valley with a 3-1 win over Missouri State.

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Bradley vs. Missouri State. Good crowd.

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They had a nice crowd and some vocal student support.

This morning: after my slow walk, I watched Illinois give up 545 total yards (357 on the ground) while being limited 300 yards to Wisconsin in 49-20 loss. There was one bright spot however:

That was 80 of the yards that the good guys had.

Of interest were two things:

1. The quarterback. The Illini have a 5’th year senior transfer who is a decent runner and does a decent job on the read option. Then they have a freshman who doesn’t run as well but is a better passer, and the Illini also have 3 credible, Big Ten caliber running backs (good ground attack in every game but the Purdue game, including 210 yards today). Should the Illini promote the freshman to the starting role? I am not saying that the freshman is a better quarterback but he might give this particular team a better chance to win right now.

2. In the 3’rd, the Illini were down 42-17 early in the 4’th and had 4’th and 3 at the Wisconsin 8. The coach elected a field goal (which was good). Some (many? most?) thought the Illini should have went for the first down. Personally, I think the offense needed to be rewarded with points..as a confidence builder. Not that it would have mattered that much.

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HOUSED! 8️⃣0️⃣ Yards. #ILLINI

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Workout notes: Friday: untimed 5 mile walk. Saturday: 10 mile walk..unusually slow. I walked to the ball field and then to the dam and then back; perhaps I went a bit further than I had anticipated. But it was slow.

October 20, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, walking | , | Leave a comment

Illini get steamrolled by Purdue 46-7

I’ll start with the positive (and yes, there is a positive). In Champaign, the Illinois AD leads a 4 mile pregame run.

Ok, I don’t live in Champaign and even if I did, a 9 minute a mile is now a “race effort” for me ..on a good day…when it is cool. But I did a nice 5.2 mile walk at an undetermined pace (15-16 minutes per mile?) on my own prior to leaving for the game.

Ok, here is the second positive: I still love watching football and I like seeing good execution. And one team executed well..though it wasn’t the team that I was cheering for.

Ok, positive number 3: I had a good lunch with my wife before I left.

Ok, positive number 4: decent crowd (by Illinois standards: almost 42K. That was the largest since last year’s Wisconsin game (which was also Homecoming). Ok, much of that came from Purdue fans and much of the Illinois crowd left at halftime, after the band performance.

Ok, positive number 5: the bands (current and alumni) were good!

Ok, ok, with that out of the way….

I’ll recall a conversation from the Penn State game a few weeks ago (which ended 63-24). Many Illini fans grasped the fact that the Illini held a lead 24-21 with 10 minutes to go in the 3’rd. Others (myself included) thought that the 42-0 finish by Penn State was more significant. I asked my wife: what is more significant about the Illinois football team: the start of the PSU game or the finish. She smiled and said “honey, the finish”.

It sure seems that she was right.

Ok, enough wit the set up.

What about the actual game? The score (46-7) and stats (total yards 611-250…Purdue had 404 yards AT THE HALF!) speak for themselves.

But…believe it or not, it started promising. The teams started by exchanging punts, then the Illini struck blood first with a very nice 77 yard touchdown drive, with most of the damage done by a 52 yard pass to a running back out of the backfield. It WAS a good throw too. 7-0 Illini, and I thought “the shoot out is on!” (I had predicted 31-24 Purdue).

It took Purdue just 5 plays to respond, almost all on passes…7-7.

Then came 2 Illinois 3 and out “drives” followed by Purdue touchdown drives (passes) and a blocked extra point: 20-7 Purdue.

Then came a “turning point” of sorts (ok, in a 46-7 game..well..)

The Illini put together their second (and final) good drive of the day, mostly due to a 30 and 24 yard pass play. First and goal at the Purdue 8 then a second goal at the Purdue 5. But then came a SIXTEEN YARD loss on a sack followed by a missed field goal attempt (38 yards; kicker has been pretty good for most of the year). That appeared to take whatever wind there was out of Illinois’ sails.

Then came a Purdue drive with a made field goal. Illinois punted..and with time running down, the Illini held Purdue on downs at the Illini 29. But Purdue had time outs and got the ball back with under a minute to go and 2 time outs. Two quick runs set up the ball at the Illini 42 and a “jump ball” in the end zone was won by the Purdue receiver. A very badly botched extra point kick attempt left the score at 29-7…and Purdue had 404 yards AT THE HALF.

Purdue got the ball at the start of the 3’rd quarter and two key penalties snuffed out any hope the Illini may have had.

An offside on a Purdue punt kept the drive alive…and another offside penalty negated an interception deep in Illini territory. No problem: PUrdue punches it in and it is now 36-7.

Purude did a lot of running in the 4’th quarter at it was good enough to set up a field goal then a final touchdown to make it 46-7.

It was this kind of day:

My shots:

Ok, not mine..but I am where the red arrow is.

Pregame:

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Alumni Band.

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Illini Band.

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Decent crowd but far from full:

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Purdue at Illinois early.

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Was it something I said? 😂

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Decent crowd.

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Good half time show:

Post halftime…people leaving:

OMG…

October 14, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, walking | | Leave a comment

College football weekend and observations

Temple -7 at Navy (ESPN: Temple, 67.7)
Navy is having a rough season; win over Memphis and an FCS program. Temple blew out Maryland, Tulsa and East Carolina and lost 2 close games to decent teams (Buffalo, BC). I have to pick Temple to win and cover.

Baylor +14 at Texas (UT: 84.2) : sort of a rivalry, UT beat Oklahoma, who blew out Baylor. But UT has had somewhat close games with ordinary opponents. I think UT wins, but Baylor keeps it close and covers.

ND -21 vs. Pitt (ND 95.5 percent favorite). Pitt was blown out 45-14 by UCF and 51-6 by Penn State and I don’t see them doing better vs. a ND team that is rolling. ND wins and covers.

Illinois +10 hosting Purdue (Purdue 72.9 percent). Though Purdue is 2-3, 2 of the losses were close games vs. good teams (Missouri, NW) and one came with unforced errors.

The Illini have wins against 2 of the most dreadful FBS teams and a 34-14 win over an FCS team that lost 33-16 to Illinois State (I watched both games). The Illini give up huge amounts of yards (626 to USF, 59x to Penn State) and won’t be able to stop Purdue. But the running game keeps it sort of close. Purdue to win, Illinois covers.

Win: Temple, Texas, ND, Purdue
Cover: Temple, Baylor, ND, Illinois

Remarks about the teams I’ve watched:

As far as a “seasons” worth of football (save a game missed for a hospitalization here, or a job there):
I watched Texas for 9 seasons (1975-1976, 1981, 1985-1990, Navy for 4 (1977-1980), Illinois State for 2 (1993-1994), Illinois for 8: 2011-2018.

At the time, Texas was in the old Southwest Conference (just added Houston in 1976) and routinely played Arkansas, Houston, Rice, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, SMU, Texas A&M and, of course, Oklahoma (then non-conference).
Home non conference games: North Texas, Colorado State, Utah State, Miami, Missouri, Stanford, BYU, Oregon State, New Mexico, Penn State, Colorado.

Navy: though Navy was an independent, Navy frequently played William and Mary, Connecticut, Citadel, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Army, Air Force, Boston College, Syracuse, Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Other home games: Duke, Kent, Villanova. Note: road game vs. Illinois (one) and bowl vs. Houston.

Illinois State: played a Missouri Valley schedule, which included Eastern Illinois (not a conference game), Youngstown State, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois, Missouri State

Illinois: Big Ten of course (Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland (haven’t seen), Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern. Non conference home: Southern Illinois, South Dakota State, Arkansas State, Western Michigan, Texas State, Western Kentucky, Charleston, Arizona State, South Florida, Miami of Ohio, Louisiana Tech, Kent State, Western Illinois, North Carolina, Ball State, Cincinnati.

What is my point: note how little overlap there is in the respective schedules. The greatest overlap: ISU and Illinois: Western, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Youngstown State (Iowa, NW as ISU road games)

I did watch Houston vs. Illinois in 1991 so that was the only team common to the 3 FBS teams (played Navy in the 1980 Garden State Bowl). Penn State is common to Texas and Illinois.

But back to the overlap: I’ve watched many NFL games, (followed the Patriots (1983-1984), Rams (2009-2015) Colts and Bears (2015-2018) and you see quite a bit of overlap in NFL schedules. So I suppose it is not a surprise that I’ve seen as many Super Bowl champions play (1982 Redskins, 1989 49’ers, 2009 Saints) as I’ve seen college national champions (Texas 1969, Colorado 1990, Youngston State 1993 (I-AA, now FCS)) though I’ve watched many more college games.

Workout notes: 2 mile treadmill (21:20), 1 mile lane 2 (9:22..was work), 1 mile walk outside…GI issues this morning?

October 13, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, NFL, running, walking | 1 Comment