Sept. 11 Bob Asmussen chat

Sept. 11 Bob Asmussen chat

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 10:00am

How did Lovie Smith's team look against Western Kentucky? Will it have a chance to beat South Florida? Who will be the next recruit to commit to Illinois?

For the answers to these questions, or anything else on your mind, check in with our Illinois football beat writer.

Bob Asmussen wrote on September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am
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Welcome back to another Bob Asmussen chat. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I watched a lot of football. I know the night games aren't great for our deadlines, but I love being able to watch all of the early games before going to Memorial Stadium.

Still waiting word on whether or not South Florida can host Friday. My guess is every effort will be made to play there. Illinois offering to host was a nice idea, but I'm sure the Bulls want to play at home.

Illinois looked really good against Western Kentucky, especially on defense. If the team pulls off a win against South Florida, it will be halfway to a bowl bid. With games left against Rutgers, Indiana and Purdue. Interesting.

I will be here for about an hour, then I am going to the Illinois football press conference.

As always, thanks for your participation. I look forward to the chats every week.

Now, on to your questions.


Anonymous User wrote on September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

Bob-  What happened to Reggie Corbin?  What is the current status of the cb Jaylon Dunlap?  Lovie is subtlie gaining momentum in the program.

Bob Asmussen wrote on September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am
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Reggie Corbin is recovering from a shoulder injury. I don't think he will be back this week, but I think he will return at some point this season. It isn't as big of a deal because of the performance of the freshman running backs, but I'm sure Garrick McGee would like to have one more experienced player to use. He was a good player in 2016.

What I understand about Jaylen Dunlap is the coaches are hoping to get him back for the Big Ten season. I don't know if that means the Nebraska game or a few games into conference play. Give the other cornerbacks credit for stepping in and playing well. It will be a good thing for Illinois in the long run. Dunlap will provide the defense a lift when he returns

I agree on your last point. It looks like progress is being made. A win as an underdog is a big deal forr the team.

Illini Football fan wrote on September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

Bob -

What were the biggest 2-3 'x' factors that led to the Illini win Saturday night? Some could argue that the new coach for WKU does not have his team 'jelled yet'. Others could argue it was the 'trash talk' material of WKU toward the Illini. Still, others wondered if it was the game plan(s) that made the difference.


Bob Asmussen wrote on September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am
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Illini Football Fan,

Western Kentucky is a different team without Jeff Brohm and Mike White was a different quarterback. The team looked confused at times on offense. Plus, remember it lost a lot of very talented players from last season. It is clear the Hilltoppers have some work to do with the new coach. I don't think they will win 11 games this season.

I don't believe the trash talk had much to do with the outcome during the game. Once guys start smacking into each other, they forget about that stuff. But I'm sure it helped motivate the Illini during the week to prepare more. When someone tells you can't do something, you will try to prove them wrong.

In the game, the overall execution of the Illinois defense was impressive It looked like it knew where the Hilltoppers were going. Give the coaches a lot of credit for that.

Mike Epstein played really well. He is going to have a good season and might have an impact like Mikey Dudek had in 2014.

Julian Jones' pick six was huge. Going into the locker room up 13-0 instead of 6-0 was a major difference for the Illini. Scoring on the first drive of the second half put the game away. Western Kentucky couldn't have scored 20 points if they played five more quarters.


Anonymous Jim wrote on September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

Hello Bob, when will the final decision come down for the game against South Florida.

Bob Asmussen wrote on September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am
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Anonymous Jim,

I think we will know later today. I'm sure folks at the school are checking what kind of problems they might have hosting a game on Friday. Football, obviously, takes a back seat to the welfare of the Tampa community. Having the game on Friday doesn't help. An extra day might mean a lot, but I doubt it gets pushed back.

No matter where the game is played, I think Illinois has a chance to win. I would not have written that before the season, but the Illini are playing better and South Florida is still adjusting to a new staff.

As soon as we know something about the location of the game, we will let you know.

Arch 1973 wrote on September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

Bob, A couple observations. 

While we have not been involved in one for a while, the overtime tie breaker format in college is unsatisfactory.  It is  very much like a penalty shoot out in soccer.

1. At the very least I would start on the "own 40" instead of the ingoing 25.  That way you are not ceding a field goal.

2. Better yet, go with the pro rules, including a tie at the end of the OT period.

3. Best, eliminate the tie breaker completely except in conference and play-off championships.

4. With the play-off system, and the somewhat subjective selection process, the very top teams with a tie on their record are not penalized. Ohio State get into the playoffs with a loss, they could get in with a tie just the same.

Bob Asmussen wrote on September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am
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Arch 1973,


I agree with you about the comparison to the shootout in soccer. Lou Tepper hated overtime because he thought it penalized the defense too much. You could play a great game that was tied 10-10, give up three or four scores in overtime and have it destroy your season stats. He had a good point.

You must be reading my mind on where the possesion should start. I have always thought the 40 made more sense. Force a team to pick up a few first downs. I'm sure the concern is the game would take too long, but why does that matter?

What I don't like about the pro overtime is that both teams aren't guaranteed to get the ball. The game should not be decided by a coin flip. The pros adjusted that a few years back, giving a team a possession if the other opened with a field goal. That was a help.

I have never thought about going back to allowing the games to end in a tie. I don't think that will happen. People like finality with their football.

I have been to several overtime games over the years and they are very exciting. But I see your concerns about the current system.

Bob Asmussen wrote on September 11, 2017 at 10:09 am
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I am going to wrap up the chat for today. Great questions as always.

I will be back next week at the same time. If you have any questions between now and then, feel free to email me at

If you are in town tonight, stop by the Esquire at 5 p.m. for "The News-Gazette Sports Page," Former Illini great and College Football Hall of Famer David Williams will make an appearance.

Have a great week. We will let you know about the South Florida game as soon as we know something.