Illinois Stumbles in Lansing

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Will Clinton, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Will Clinton

    Will Clinton Walk On

    Jul 12, 2012
    The Fighting Illini suffered their first loss of the season this week in “The Big House” against Michigan. Despite being up at halftime and well within FG range within 1 minute to go in the game, the Illinois team couldn’t deal with the pressure and popped.

    The Illinois team deployed some extra strategy going into this game, by utilizing the hurry-up-no-huddle offense for the better part of the game. Used in the first half more as a surprise attack, after the Michigan defense shut down the running game of Sophomore Donovonn Young it became a staple of the offense that was struggling to find any sort of balance.

    Perhaps the ineptitude of the run game put an even heavier weight on the shoulders of Sophomore QB Nathan Scheelhaase as he was forced into 3 interceptions and multiple forced passes. His OL didn’t give him much chance for survival on most downs, and the FB blocking was nonexistent. He did pass for 3 TD also, and an impressive 400+ yds, but when it mattered, he faltered. Sitting inside the 20 yard line, for one of the few times this game, with less than 1 minute to go and on 2nd down, he threw an ill-advised pass into coverage that was intercepted. All that was left was the crying as Michigan ran 3 straight plays to run out the clock and seal the win.

    On the day, the star for Illinois was WR Harris who had 5 receptions for 170 yards and 2 TD’s. RB Young did have a short 3-yd TD run to open the scoring for Illinois after they scored in a blazing 26 seconds on a 58 yd pass from D Gardner to J Gallon. They would hook up on another long TD pass, this time from 48 yards out. Both of these TD’s came in the 1st half, but Illinois was the victor for the first 14 minutes, adding 2 TD passes from Scheelhaase, one to Harris, and the other to Young, on a beautiful audible by Scheelhaase.

    After the game, we caught up with Coach Clinton

    “We played one helluva game, I’ll tell you that. Nathan gave us a good effort, but you could tell that being a Sophomore really had an effect on him. When he’s a SR, that atmosphere won’t matter. I wish I could have back that last play call, because I didn’t give him a safety valve. I had the TE and RB held in to block, and only gave him 3 long routes with nothing underneath. It was a bad playcall, but I wish he would have been thinking run there. 1 yard, 2 yards, as long as it wasn’t a sack it would have been fine. That will come with maturity. I am really proud of our guys. We definitely have to get to work on the O-Line though. There will be some serious conditioning going on this week to go along with some technique correction. You will probably see a lot of twitter and Facebook pics of my WR carrying game balls. We can’t have the drops we had this week, especially in critical situations. We will use this bye week to do exactly what it was meant for and come out ready to play in 2 weeks. This will give me a chance to get in contact with some recruits I have been meaning to call.”

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