Illini grade vs. Youngstown State: C-

Illini grade vs. Youngstown State: C-

Player  of the game
Illini quarterback Wes Lunt
After a shaky start (give the guy a break, he hadn’t played in two years), the Rochester rocket finished with 285 yards and four touchdowns. And his teammates promise he will get better. Somewhere, Nathan Scheelhaase was smiling, knowing his old spot is in good hands.

Offense: C

Actually, split  the grade and give the passing game a B and the run game a D. Against inferior teams (no offense, Coach Wolford), the Illini have to average better than 3.5 yards per carry. Penguins quarterback Dante Nania gave Missouri Valley defenses a whole lot to worry about.

Defense: B-minus
Illini still need to work on their takeaways (none) and fourth-down conversions (Youngstown was 2 of 3), but Tim Banks’ guys kept the Illini in the game when the offense wasn’t working. Next week, against Western Kentucky, will be a much better test. Illini need to do a much better job of getting off field, allowing the Guins to hold the ball 40 minutes.

Special teams: C-minus
Yes, the Illini got a long kickoff return. And they made a great play on a pivotal blocked punt late in the game, but they also shanked a couple of punts and had two kickoffs go out of bounds. Bad sign when both the backup kicker and punter was needed (it is the same guy). Penguins might want to scrap the rugby-style punt. It helped cost them Saturday’s game.

Overall: C-minus
Prepare to hear the following term a lot this week: a win is a win. Except, when it comes against an FCS school at home. If not for a big fourth quarter by Lunt, the Illini would have spent the weekend trying to explain a nightmare loss. The game does give Youngstown State a nice starting point to a season they hope ends in the playoffs.

Youngstown State
Offense C
Defense C
Special teams C
Overall C

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Jam wrote on August 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Sorry  Bob but I think you are a little overly rough here.  I think Coach Cubit has a style of not showing all of his cards early on.  In addition I think with new people in the offense getting to know one another in a  game situation this also factored in to a slow start, not to mention a new offensive line coach.  I expect study of this game film will help.

Also, I give kudos to the defense for a good effort considering they were on the field a lot for 3 quarters. I also thought the wind was a factor as well (as always at Memorial Stadium).

Profilo wrote on August 30, 2014 at 7:08 pm

bias pervails in ILLINIHQ. First Tate's article now this...

Mr Asmussen I ask you, was our defense that allowed YSU to keep the football for 40', or did YSU have the football for 40' because our offense was repeatedly shut out for 3 quarters, thus giving the rock back to them?

think about it, OK


battleship1500 wrote on August 31, 2014 at 11:08 am

Some good points by Profilo. The Gazoo is always going to look for a way to sanitize what happened, especially after the coming losses. Maybe a C- overall works, but only because of the late surge. The team was a solid F, or at best D+, until Lunt woke up.

jjohnson wrote on August 31, 2014 at 9:08 am

The defense played well -- two bad plays, really. Thomas missed a tackle when he had the man on that long gain early in the fourth quarter, and on the second quarter long gain, it looked to me as though Bentley was held from behind. They let too many quarterback runs go straight up the middle, but pass coverage was superb and YSU had the same mediocre yds per carry that Illinois had. B- is perhaps fair, but this was a much better defensive performance than last year.