MSU Thoughts, Standings, & PSU Predictions

Today’s game was another one where I had an idea of what I was going to blog about at around halftime.  That being – Illinois was probably going to lose, but it was going to be close, and if the squad were to capitalize on missed opportunities, they may have even been able to pull off the upset.  I was even ready to draw a parallel to one of my favorite country songs. Then…this happened, and the wind was taken out of the sails of Illini Nation…

Blog PhotoAnd it was all downhill from there.  MSU’s offense had not been performing well coming in to this one, so the fact that they put up 42 and were nearly perfect on third down really tells you how much the Illini need to do to get up to par.  I’ll give the O and B offense the benefit of the doubt…they had some momentum early, and I’m sure they were on the cusp of continuing that in the second half.  But when you’re forced into so many three and outs, it kills any momentum you have.

There are some who are calling for some immediate drastic changes (e.g. to the coaching staff), but I’m waiting one more week before those thoughts start to creep in my head.  In the meantime, Coach Beckman summed up the Achilles heel for his team in this one in his postgame radio interview.

Blog PhotoTo the standings…

Twenty-two of our 32 pickers this week correctly picked the victor, however illinifaningeorgia had the only respectable RSDT.  He or she also gets kudos for predicting a big MSU offensive performance.  Overall, walker drops out of first place by way of his/her pick for Illinois.  Bwp 5P is our new lead dog, with DarrenAlman in second and my colleague Matt Daniels in third.

Blog PhotoNow, time to get happy (valley)…

Penn State has been a tough team to get a read on this year, with losses to UCF and Indiana (who I still think isn’t as good as many think they are) and a slew of injuries and the big win a couple weeks ago over Michigan.  The team likes to pass, with Allen Robinson being the top target of freshman (and just 18 year old) QB Christian Hackenberg.  They also like to get their tight ends into the mix.  Conversely, the Lions’ pass defense has left a little to be desired this year.  So I expect both teams to air the ball out.

Earlier in the year, I lumped this one together with MSU as games that the Illini could steal.  But in the present moment I see no indicators that will happen.

MY PREDICTION:  Penn State 45, Illinois 14

I’m going to finish this week by talking a little about NCAA compliance staffs.  I feel for these guys.  Their job is to come down on people for violating rules that many think are ridiculous.  There was some great back and forth on social media this week about students welcoming a certain recruit to town…then compliance Blog Photoswooping in to put the kibosh on it.  And rightfully so.  Small things like tweeting at someone could get a school in hot water and negatively impact its ability to land a recruit.  My colleague Matt Daniels had a nice write up on the topic not too long ago.

So I told you that story…to tell you this story.  With such a difficult job, I’m sure the work week can get maddening for compliance staffs.  So I was delighted to see Maryland take a lighthearted approach to the topic on its Twitter page (see photo at left for an example).  I salute you, turtles, and compliance staffs everywhere.

And in case you wondered what that photo sounds like...

-Tim

Coming up next Saturday:  PSU thoughts, standings, and Indiana predictions

[Beaver Stadium photo via gopsusports.com, Rock audio via RideTheLightning728 on YouTube]

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IlliniHimey wrote on October 26, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Awesome!  An 18 year old true freshman is going to mop up against my beloved.  And our senior 4 year starting QB will not be able to do much.  Only at Illinois.  Hopefully the carnage will be worse than what you predict, as Mike Thomas would view your prediction as 'progress', meaning, we would have to keep this coaching staff around for another year.

brownie832 wrote on October 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Penn St.- 30


ILLINI-20


Nothing good to add here.

illiniearl wrote on October 30, 2013 at 12:10 am

Shout out to Ryan Lankford!  Thanks for being an Illini and wishing you the best on your recovery and career!

Illini   35

 

 

Penn State 30    

buckhunter2 wrote on October 30, 2013 at 7:10 am

PEN ST     38

ILL               17

mvillini wrote on October 30, 2013 at 9:10 am

   Really,really disapointed in this team (?) Wheres Ray Nusspickle when you need hjm ?  Hate to say it, but I think it's time for all the "T" boys to be relieved of their duties. Does  "Homecoming" mean anything to these people?

   There's no Fighting left in these Illini. PSU 35, Illini 17.

smccaw_11748 wrote on October 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

ILLINI 21

PSU 35

tonyjb37 wrote on October 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm
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We are not an improved team from last year! We are suppose to improve from week to week, we only get worse from week to week. This coaching staff has got to go! Take your non-players with you. I wonder what the excuses are going to be after this week?       Coach O'Brien  41        The other guy 31

illinifaningeorgia wrote on October 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I agree 100% that we are not improved from last year.  Then why do you have us losing by only 10 points?  Last year we lost to Penn State by 28 points.

touchdown_illinois wrote on October 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

PSU 34  UI 24

Bob Patterson wrote on October 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm
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Penn State 41

Illini 13

Railsplitter wrote on November 01, 2013 at 6:11 am

pen st.............31 illinois.........14

Railsplitter wrote on November 01, 2013 at 6:11 am

pen st.............31 illinois.........14

Bwp 5P wrote on November 01, 2013 at 9:11 am

Nittany Lions : 41

Illini : 20

Gill52 wrote on November 01, 2013 at 9:11 am

Wish I could be more hopeful. I'm really learning to hate these PSU guys. 

PSU  35       Illini 21

 

nutleyillini wrote on November 01, 2013 at 11:11 am

Penn State 38

Illinois 17

walker wrote on November 01, 2013 at 11:11 am

A horrible time to have to play them after the embarrasment they suffered through last week at Ohio State:    PSU 34    ILLINOIS 14

FonDoc94 wrote on November 01, 2013 at 11:11 am

Illini shocks us!!  Illini 38  Penn St. 27

BleedOandB wrote on November 01, 2013 at 12:11 pm

PSU 35


 


Ill 14

teachdacc wrote on November 01, 2013 at 4:11 pm

PSU. 41. Illinois 28! Ugh,  sad to say we might not win again!!!!

DarrenAlman wrote on November 01, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Illinois     23

Penn St     40

jruss62 wrote on November 01, 2013 at 7:11 pm

ILLINI............35

Penn St........21

this is the week, the stars the moon and the plants all line up we win.

ok I'm dreaming 

as always GO ILLINI

ehsfan wrote on November 01, 2013 at 9:11 pm

More pain and suffering. The PSU squad has not forgoitten Beckman and his merry band showing up to recruit PSU transfers. They will make us pay. No mercy.            PSU 49 Illini 6.

ddub923 wrote on November 01, 2013 at 9:11 pm

ILLINOIS             14

PENN STATE    41

mbelcher wrote on November 02, 2013 at 8:11 am

Illinois   10


Penn St    31

conner34 wrote on November 02, 2013 at 9:11 am

PSU 38

Illini 14

krervin2 wrote on November 02, 2013 at 9:11 am

ILLINOIS 34

Penn State 24