PSU good - Illinois bad

Submitted by MartinHD on October 29th, 2009 at 10:53 AM

The sledding should be a little easier this weekend. PSU is the #1 team in the conference in 10 statistical categories:

Total Offense
Rushing Defense
Pass Efficiency Defense
Total Defense
Scoring Defense
Pass Defense
Passing Efficiency
Tackles for Loss
Sacks Allowed.

In contrast, Illinois is dead last - 11th in the conference in 11 categories:

Passing Offense
Scoring Offense
Rushing Defense
Pass Efficiency Defense
Total Defense
Scoring Defense
Punt Returns
Passing Efficiency
Tackles for Loss
Sacks Allowed

Lets hope we notice the difference and take care of business against a team that, to date, is clearly inferior statistically to our recent Big 10 opponents.



October 29th, 2009 at 11:04 AM ^

This is an important game for our team. Secures bowl eligibility and get us even closer to a 7-5 record. I still think we can get to 8-4 but it all depends on Tates shoulder. We lose this game we can still get to bowl eligibility and 7-5 but damn, this one would hurt.


October 29th, 2009 at 11:15 AM ^

If we lose this one, we don't deserve a bowl either way unless we shock that team from the armpit of the nation. Hasn't Juice Williams kind of turned into Michael Vick v.the year or two before the dog fighting thing? Didn't he get benched against Purdue? This one's in the bag boys. Once I rub my lucky UM lawn gnome on game day, the boys in orange don't stand a chance.


October 29th, 2009 at 12:13 PM ^

You must be looking at the record through all games. I just visited the Big Ten site, and if you just look at conference games, Illinois ranks above us in a variety of offensive and defensive categories.

In scoring defense, we're dead last, as is the case for turnover margin, TOP, and kickoff coverage. We're also towards the bottom of the list for several other categories.

Illinois is dead last in scoring offense, so it looks like Saturday is the eminently resistable force against the easily movable object. Whatever happens, it's bound to be ugly.

Putting it another way, Illinois is Mr. Burns battering ineffectually against a big blob of maize-and-blue play-doh.


October 29th, 2009 at 11:33 AM ^

Those are some powerful numbers and they speak to why many, myself included, have been betting against Illinois most of the season.

Michigan rolls on Saturday. No need to worry. We'll look as good as we've looked all season.


October 29th, 2009 at 12:17 PM ^

I know we're better than last year's team, but how much better is the question. Statistically, I bet our defense is not much better. We're still giving up huge yardage numbers and bucketfuls of points.


October 29th, 2009 at 12:07 PM ^

Everything seems to point towards a victory, but I think this is as important of a game as WMU was at the beginning of the season. We are 1-3 in the Big 10 and have not won a road game this year. Win and everything is alright - we become bowl eligibile, we have our Big 10 road win, we get closer to 500 in the Big 10 with a winnable game coming up the following week - life is good (not great)!

The key for me will be Michigan coming out strong and putting points up early. It doesn't need to be touchdowns (although that would be great), just give me some field goals to put the pressure on Illinois. If the Illini are able to hang around then they will start to believe that this will be the game to get the monkey-off-their-back and momentum will start rolling down hill for them.


October 29th, 2009 at 12:21 PM ^

Speaking of the whole monkey on their back subject. I think this win will not only get them to a bowl (hopefully) but will help get the monkey of our back as well. Whether they say it or not, making a bowl game has been on this teams mind all season and I think a win would take some of the weight of last year away and make them able to play a little more relaxed and have fun in the rest of the games.

Hemlock Philosopher

October 29th, 2009 at 12:33 PM ^

Of Illinois' six D1A opponents, all six have out rushed their seasonal average against the Illini. Mizzou beat their average by 2 yards and PSU beat their average by a gaudy 153 yards. The average delta is +63 yards. Michigan averages 219 yards-per-game; if Illinois' D has an average game, we could expect 282 yards on the ground.

With Tate's shoulder and Denard's ability to find defenders, I expect we will be running a lot. I'll take the over on the rushing yards.


October 29th, 2009 at 1:11 PM ^

its about how well Michigan's defense shuts down the anemic Illinois offense.

Its about whether or not Illinois continues to be so bad on that side of the ball and make mistakes after mistakes after mistakes

and whether our offense can sustain execution against a mediocre defense.

Tim Waymen

October 29th, 2009 at 1:46 PM ^

I wouldn't talk too soon. Sometimes the worst offenses come alive against us, especially when 3rd-string mobile QB's are involved. There was that guy for Wisconsin in 07 and Justin Siller at Purdue last year. And last year Juice Williams had a Big House-record performance, absolutely tearing us apart, and Illinois ended up finishing 5-7. Nothing is a given.


October 29th, 2009 at 8:45 PM ^

I can understand the optimism this week. I never really understood where it was coming from last week. PSU is the best team in the conference IMO. Saturday's performance was disappointing but not really that surprising to me. Now if we don't control this week's game, I will be pretty surprised.