Saturday, November 04, 2006

Illinois Gameday Thread

We're only about 3 and a half hours until kickoff, so I suppose I'm running a bit behind. I guess that's what happens when you don't fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning.

  • ESPN did a nice feature on what goes through Troy Smith's mind as he drops back to pass. It's really a great piece on just how smart of a person Smith is. It's really incredible that in a span of 1.5 seconds, a quarterback can go through his progressions, while someone is trying to drag him down at the feet, and hardly even leave the pocket. You can watch it on ESPN Motion right now if you want.
  • As far as game predictions go, I'm picking Tony Pittman and Gonzo to have big games offensively. Illinois has given up 11 TDs on the ground so far this season, and so far, Pittman's stats haven't been as impressive as last season. Something has got to give. Also, it's been a few weeks since #11 has made much noise, so look for him to be more involved in the offense as well.
  • That doesn't mean Troy Smith won't have a huge game himself, either. Most people are considering his performance last week sub-par, and Heisman winners don't have two bad games in a row.
  • Defensively, watch out for Vernon Gholston and Laurinaitis. 'Juice' has been very interception-prone so far as a freshman, so it'll be interesting to see if The Animal can get back on track as far as picks go.
  • Other random predictions: Troy has another rushing TD, Beanie doesn't fumble, Malcolm Jenkins gets at least 1 pick, and Ginn has one big touchdown (whether it be pass, run, or return is anyone's call).
  • Final Score Prediction: 38-13
Give any thoughts/analysis in the comments section if you wish to do so.

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