Cissoko and the defensive backfield
- Boubacar violated team rules, and Rich Rodriguez simply enforced Boubacar's decisions by removing him from the team. Players know that's it's a privilege to play on the team, not a right.
- It wasn't explicitly asked, but Rodriguez's tone made it seem at times as though the window was still open for Cissoko to be reinstated. However, he said that they would help him try to get his career back on track at another institution, with no mention of a potential return. Further inquiries received the "let's talk about guys who play for Michigan" response.
- Despite losing Cissoko, Justin Turner is still on track to redshirt this year, and he's practicing exclusively at cornerback. Troy Woolfolk will stay at corner full-time, and James Rogers has moved to the position (which we knew a few weeks ago). JT Floyd is starting to get healthy again.
- Defensive back is still an area of concern for the team, but at this point, it will have to be addressed through recruiting.
- Brandon Minor practiced very little yesterday. That is related to the ongoing ankle sprain, not the bruised heel from Saturday's game.
- Odoms didn't practice yesterday, but he responded well to treatment, and is expected to practice today.
- Junior Hemingway practiced full contact yesterday.
- Tate mentioned that his shoulder was a little sore following the PSU game. However, he's fully healthy and will practice this whole week.
- It's better to have 2-3 backs that can carry the load than having to rely on one guy and being in trouble if he goes down. Minor's injury is part of the reason there has been so much rotation at RB.
- Greg Mathews had his best game against Penn State, and has been playing well overall lately. He's usually a quiet guy, but has been a more vocal leader in practice this week. RR speculates that may be due to seeing his career coming to an end.
- Carlos Brown was put at kick return to have two explosive options, and prevent teams from being able to just kick away from Stonum. He will stay on kick return.
- Odoms was removed from punt return only because of injury. When healthy, he will probably go back there.
- Despite having two different styles of QB, Illinois won't change their schemes too much on Saturday. They'll still have a spread offense, but probably run a little more with Juice, because he has a lot of running ability.
- The team's focus has been good all season. Even when they don't play well in games, it isn't due to a lack of focus or preparation.
- Kevin Leach and JB Fitzgerald got a little more playing time at linebacker on Saturday than they had been. That will probably continue.