Football pick 'em Week 2: Western Kentucky
Hey Mikey...I think he likes it!
Seriously, though, it's obvious that this one wasn't all peaches and cream. Wes Lunt's arm took a bit longer to get rolling than we all would have liked, but I was impressed with how he took control of the game late. Here's Wes after the game on his receivers.
On the flip side, less than 80 rush yards is obviously something you don't want to see, especially when you have a weapon like Josh Ferguson in your arsenal. But I'm going to reserve judgement on that. The same goes for the defensive effort, where neither I nor defensive coordinator Tim Banks remember many glaring mistakes. Big picture, though, I'm not going into next week with a ton of confidence, given our opponent's performance in week one (more on that below).
To the numbers…
I was pleased at the number of pickers (42) to start the year, and for all but one of you it was a successful Saturday. Top honors this week go to Jimmy_Bat and Stephen Walko, who each missed the margin of victory by just one. For the rest of you, the RSDTs were all over the place. But don't fret...it's only week one. If you need a reminder of the picking lexicon, click here.
Up next, we go from penguins to big…red…things?
For this week’s blog, I reached out to my good friend, Deadspin Hall of Famer, and big WKU fan Kige Ramsey of YouTube Sports for a scouting report. However I didn’t get a reply, so the best we can do is a shot of Kige and Big Red.
Anyway, I watched WKU’s game last night and was impressed by the Tops’ quick and efficient offense. The record setting numbers from QB Brandon Doughty speak for themselves (46/56, 569 yards, 6 TDs), but what was more impressive was the squad’s 100% success rate in the red zone and an average scoring drive time of 2:48 (not counting garbage time in the fourth quarter). The Toppers have good depth at wide receiver and tight end, so Illini secondary would be wise not to make the same mistake Bowling Green did in giving the WKU receivers plenty of room to work.
Outside the lines, when I realized that Jeff Brohm was the Hilltoppers head coach (another former Illini, BTW), my eyes lit up, and I got a big grin on my face. That’s because I knew I could include in this blog what may be the best football quote of all time. Let’s set the scene: a young(er), scrappy Jeff Brohm is playing quarterback for the Orlando Rage of the XFL, the sorely underrated creation of WWE head man Vince McMahon. Brohm takes a punishing hit in a game, is taken to the hospital via ambulance, and is back on the sidelines by the final whistle. Fast forward six days, and Brohm is back under center. But wait, Jeff, how can you come back this quick?
Conclusion: Stone Cold Steve Austin has nothing on Jeff Brohm.
My prediction: Illinois 45, Western Kentucky 42
Now, to paraphrase the great Macho Man Randy Savage: the spotlight goes on top of you. Log your pick here or by e-mail by game time Saturday, and feel free to throw in some analysis or general thoughts on the current sports issues of the day.
Coming up next time: WKU recap, standings, & Washington predictions
[Kige gif via YouTube Sports, Brohm gif & audio via XFL 2001 on YouTube]