Football pick ‘em week one: Youngstown State

Football pick ‘em week one: Youngstown State

It’s game week! 

Ok, ok.  It’s Illini football game week.  But still, you can’t help but be happy the college football (and the prognosticating that comes along with it) is back.  I love the thought of a community essentially Blog Photoshutting down each Saturday to rally around one cause.

So when it comes to this year’s Illini squad, I’ll begin with the million dollar question that I and beat writers everywhere have heard since November:  does Tim Beckman need a bowl game to keep his job?  I’ve thought about that question a lot, and at this point I’m leaning toward an answer of “no, but with little wiggle room.”  The first half of the schedule sets up well for the O & B this year with anything less than four wins putting the heat on the coaching staff.  Sneak in a win or two in the latter half of the slate, and things aren’t looking too bad.  Tank the second half of the season, and the rumor mill starts to swirl again.

By the way…an interesting note from the football record book:  the Illini’s last five coaches have reached a bowl game in their third year at the helm.  Maybe coincidence, maybe a sign that year three is the special one.

What am I keeping an eye on between the lines?  Well there’s a reason Matt Daniels listed Wes Lunt as the most important Illini this year.  It’ll be a change of pace from the running quarterbacks of the past eight years or so, but if the rave reviews about Lunt’s spirals hold true in game action, Illini fans will have something to cheer for.  I expect another big year from Josh Ferguson, and reports out of training camp indicate that the newcomers to the offense will be up to speed sooner rather than later.

Blog PhotoDefensively, there’s nowhere to go but up from allowing 6.7 yards per play, right?  Perhaps Tim Banks could help his own cause by channeling his inner Austin Teitsma and smile once in a while.

Now, let’s turn our attention to this week’s Gotham City showdown…

I joke, but if you’re stacking up FSC teams in terms of historical program performance, the ‘Guins are probably near the top.  The word “historical” is a key one in that last sentence, though, as YSU has been playoff-less since 2006.  But, they can claim Jim Tressel as a native son…if that sort of thing scares you.  Last year’s 8-4 squad was pretty balanced betweeBlog Photon pass and run.  And a report I found on a recent preseason scrimmage indicated that the Penguins defense may be ahead of the offense and that, like Illinois, a starting quarterback (Dante Nania) has been crowned but others may be in play.

YSU head coach Eric Wolford, who spent a couple years at Illinois, made an appearance on WDWS’ Saturday SportsTalk over the weekend.  He referred to the Youngstown community as needing a “shot in the arm” and reminisced a bit about his time in #Chambana.

But let’s be real here…Illinois has never lost to an FSC team, and that won’t change on Saturday.

My prediction:  Illinois 34, Youngstown State 13

So if you missed syllabus week and are wondering how all this works, click here for a refresher.  I need this week’s pick from you by 11 a.m. Saturday either via comment on this blog or in an e-mail.  Let your pickin’ skills run wild, brother!

-Tim

Coming up Saturday:  Youngstown State thoughts, standings, and Western Kentucky predictions

[Teitsma photo via TheEllenShow on Youtube, penguin photo via Warner Bros.]

Comments

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tonyjb37 wrote on August 25, 2014 at 10:08 am
Profile Picture

Illinois 42    Yongstown 10

mvillini wrote on August 25, 2014 at 11:08 am

Going with the Illini this week, 35-14. Go illini !!

mvillini wrote on August 25, 2014 at 11:08 am

Going with the Illini this week, 35-14. Go illini !!

touchdown_illinois wrote on August 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Illini 49
Penguins 17

Since when are there penguins in Ohio???

Thank, Tim for running this again this year!!

illinimul wrote on August 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Illni  Roll

 

Illinois 38  Youngstown State 13

 

smccaw_11748 wrote on August 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Ilini 42

14

jruss62 wrote on August 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm

   ILLINI - 42

  The birds that can't fly - 10

   

   

ILLINI04 wrote on August 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm

ILLINI - 48

 

Youngstown State - 17

aaeismacgychel wrote on August 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I'd say worst case scenario is we go 5-7 and retain Beckman.  If we go better than 5-7, I guess that's reason for some optimism, which I and the rest of Illini nation appear to be extremely lacking in at the moment, as that would mean we're headed to a bowl game.  Worse than 5-7 also will give us some reason for optimism, as that would likely mean Beckman will be fired and thus far he has had an extremely disappointing and frustrating tenure.  But a 5-7 finish, that would put us in no man's land.  So, my answer is that it likely isn't bowl or bust for Beckman as I think 5-7 is the actual goal Thomas will hold him accountable for, but from a fan's perspective, yes, it should be bowl or bust.  And unfortunately for us fans, it's going to be bust yet again this year.

My pick for this week's game:

Our Illini start start off well on offense though our defense struggles enough to be worrisome leading to a final score of

ILL: 41

YSU: 27

Bwp 5P wrote on August 25, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Illini 41

Youngstown State 17

conner34 wrote on August 25, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Illini 34

YSU 17

illiniblueorange wrote on August 25, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Illini offense strong 38 

defense not as good 17

Jimmy_Bat wrote on August 25, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Fighting Chiefs - 38

YSU - 28

yellowjacket wrote on August 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

A new era, and a season opener win

Illini 37

Youngstown 14

nutleyillini wrote on August 25, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Illinois 45

youngstown st 21

IlliniHimey wrote on August 25, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Youngstown State:  33

Illinois:  30

uiucfan1 wrote on August 25, 2014 at 10:08 pm

I'll go with Illinois 37, Youngstown State 17 

illini7074 wrote on August 25, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Illinois     24

Youngstown St. 21

teachdacc wrote on August 26, 2014 at 4:08 am

Tim, Thanks for doing this fun activity again this year. I enjoy the humor and unusual insight you provide! I hope the Illini "bashers" post negatives elsewhere. On to my prediction:

ILLINI. 47
YSU 17

Go ILlNI

REDUTSC03 wrote on August 26, 2014 at 10:08 am

Illini: 40

Penguins:  10

walker wrote on August 26, 2014 at 11:08 am

ILLINOIS  36   YSU  10

illinifaningeorgia wrote on August 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Illinois always has trouble with Division 1-AA teams.  YSU will be all pumped up.  The YSU message board says that a betting site has the Illini are only a 10-point favorite (Vegas doesn't do 1-AA games).  Illinois 35  Tuxedos 31.

Illini-5 wrote on August 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Illini - 21

Penguins - 4

Illini1973 wrote on August 26, 2014 at 2:08 pm
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It's going to be a long year.


University of Chief Illiniwek - 33 1/2


Tuxes & Tails - 17 1/2

Bob Patterson wrote on August 26, 2014 at 2:08 pm
Profile Picture

Illinois 41

Youngstown State 24

illinibadger wrote on August 27, 2014 at 11:08 am

UIUC 34, YSU 27

ehsfan wrote on August 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Illini 42 YSU 27

buckhunter2 wrote on August 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Illini      37 

Y st.      17

FonDoc94 wrote on August 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Illini  38

Y St.  16

 

illiniearl wrote on August 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Illini: 52

Youngstown State: 20

Best of luck to all pickers this year!

Florida Illini wrote on August 28, 2014 at 6:08 am

Always an optimist when my team is undefeated: Illini 35, Penguins 17

dfritche wrote on August 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Illinois 31

YSU  13

CoachWhiteComeBack wrote on August 29, 2014 at 8:08 am

Fighting Illini - 35


Penguins - 17

mbelcher wrote on August 29, 2014 at 8:08 am

Illinois. 35
youngstown 17

Railsplitter wrote on August 29, 2014 at 8:08 am

Illini 38.......Minnow Eaters 17

robertxc1 wrote on August 29, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Illinois 42

Youngstown State 10

ddub923 wrote on August 29, 2014 at 10:08 pm

YOUNGSTOWN STATE          17

ILLINOIS                                  38

IndianaBill wrote on August 30, 2014 at 9:08 am

41 -17 Illini