Illini's bowl hopes fade with loss to Western Michigan

Illinois' bowl hopes took a bad hit Saturday, courtesy of Western Michigan. Bill Cubit's team took control early and held on for a 23-17 victory at Ford Field before 12,865 fans. Full Story
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Trunk

Bradenton, FL

#1 Nov 8, 2008
Austin Peay redux. Pathetic. Fire Ron Zook. Then fire Ron Guenther.
Sue

Frankfort, IL

#2 Nov 8, 2008
2nd half play calling absolutely terrible. Juice still can't read defenses, can't throw on target, can't pick up blitzes. Can RZ finally admit we need a QB coach
gainesville

Ocala, FL

#3 Nov 8, 2008
Could there be a div III team be looking for a coaching staff. This has to be the worse coaching in the NCAA. Williams is so overated that it makes me sick when announcers brag on him. He doesn't read defences very well. He watches his receivers all the way. Throw to Benn 3 times in 3rd quarter, none in the 4th quarter. I don't know if its Williams poor reads or Locksly play calling both sucked today. Illinois has no offense inside the 10 yard line. How about a qb sneak by a 6'3 230 lb qb with less than a yard to go(twice). Cumberland is not even in the game the last series, why? Complete 3 passes to a tight end who was open on almost every play. Benn is you main man and you forget about him in the fourth quarter. Mallory better kiss Zooks behind, because if he is let go he couldn't get a job in div II football. The defense looked as lost as a high school j.v. team. Why wouldn't the offense run a screen pass with all the blitzing going on? How about an end around or a reverse? Where were the quick slants or end side routes? All year we have had to watch this dismill play calling. Locksly is by far the worse play caller inside the 10 yard line, see all the games this year where Illinois failed to score inside the 10. If Zook wants to keep his job, he better get rid of the dead wheight coaches he has. I had to watch Zooks bad coaching in Florida and was sick when he came to Illinois. Maybe Illinois could give him a job as chief recruiter and not head coach.
Tulsa Illini Alum

AOL

#4 Nov 8, 2008
Sheeesh, how did the season deteriorate into this mess? Reminds me of my days in Champaign when everyone would leave at halftime after the chief's dance!!! Now, they don't even have that!
gainesville

Ocala, FL

#5 Nov 8, 2008
Trunk wrote:
Austin Peay redux. Pathetic. Fire Ron Zook. Then fire Ron Guenther.
Good post!
gainesville

Ocala, FL

#6 Nov 8, 2008
Sue wrote:
2nd half play calling absolutely terrible. Juice still can't read defenses, can't throw on target, can't pick up blitzes. Can RZ finally admit we need a QB coach
McGee should have qb the second half. Zook and Locksly are joke and need to be looking for a new home. Just like we did to Zook in Florida. I was sick when Illinois hired him, almost as sick when the bears hired dumb and dumber Ron Turner.
chieflover

Dixon, IL

#7 Nov 8, 2008
The fault is with Illini fans......we read recruiting success with on field success.....shame on us.
gainesville

Ocala, FL

#8 Nov 8, 2008
Tulsa Illini Alum wrote:
Sheeesh, how did the season deteriorate into this mess? Reminds me of my days in Champaign when everyone would leave at halftime after the chief's dance!!! Now, they don't even have that!
maybe the Illinois coaching staff can go looking for the chief and get lost on the way.
gainesville

Ocala, FL

#9 Nov 8, 2008
hey, we still have a shot at the Ford field toilet bowl on Dec 1.
Mr Houston

Houston, TX

#10 Nov 8, 2008
Western Michigan is a better team than the Illini. Plain and simple. In fact, one could argue that top to bottom the Big Ten is not all that much better than the MAC. They are no longer the prominent conference they once were. If Penn State plays for the national championship they will be slaughtered.
Illini 75

Aurora, IL

#11 Nov 8, 2008
We don't deserve to go to a bowl game. I hope we don't get invited and these guys remember that and build on it for next year. We didn't take Western Michigan seriously and it showed. Also it's hard to play before empty seats and keep your edge. Only 12,000 fans at this game and the Illini seemed to be sleep walking. Zook reminds me of Lou Henson. A great recruiter but a good junior high coach can outthink them during a game.
The Big 10 Fake

Phoenix, AZ

#12 Nov 8, 2008
The Big 10 is just plain and simple overrated. College football is more equal all gthe time and when youn look at the money spent by the BCS schools to achive only slightly better results than the so called "mid majors" its easy to see that the NCAA is protecting the BCS and allowing them to waste money faster than the US Goverment. Zook makes more in 1 year than the entire Western Michigan coaching staff makes in 2 years and they can't beat them. What a joke!!!
Josh

Chicago, IL

#13 Nov 8, 2008
Go Broncos! Going into this game, I would have said that WMU had a chance, but needed Illinois to lose the game. Well after watching the game, the outcome wasn't Illinois losing...it was WMU winning. Illinois was outplayed nearly start to finish.

I wouldn't have predicted WMU playing such a textbook example of "bend, don't break" defense. Wouldn't have predicted the pressure on Juice. Wouldn't have predicted WMU's sudden ability to run late in the game.
kevin

United States

#14 Nov 8, 2008
YOU GUYS DONT KNOW FOOTBALL... You CANT BLAME JUICE THE OFFENSIVE LINE IS TERRIBLE....HE HAS TO RUSH HIS THROWS TOO MANY TIMES WITHOUT GETTING TO STEP INTO IT...THATS WHY HES INCONSISTENT...AND THE ILLINI DONT HAVE A RUNNING GAME. SO TEAMS KNOW JUICE HAVE TO BEAT THEM. THE OFFENSE WAS DURING GOOD THE FIRST HAVE OF THE SEASON WITH DUFRENE AS THE STARTING RUNNING BACK. NOW THEY BRING IN FORD WHO CANT CUT IT. DUFRENE NEEDS TO BE RUNNING BACK THROUGH OUT AND THEY NEED TO PLAY MCGEE AS A RECEIVER AND MIX THEY PLAY CALLING. THE ILLINI ONLY RUNS THREE PLAYS EITHER A RUN, PLAY ACTION PASS OR THE OPTION. HOW ABOUT RUNNING THE END OF ROUTE OR SOMETHING OF THAT NATURE LIKE OHIO STATE. JUICE HAS A GOOD ARM BUT THE PLAY CALLING, OFFENSIVE LINE AND LACK OF A RUNNING BACK IS HURTING HIM.
Tony Eason

Des Plaines, IL

#15 Nov 8, 2008
This is reality for Illini football just like it was for Florida footbal when Ron Zook was there. Great talent and great ineptitude on the field.
Ron Guenther should be fired for hiring Zook when Butch Davis, a coach who actually won a championship, was available.
It was pathetic watching Williams throw into triple coverage constantly. It seemed W.Michigan's defense knew exactly where the Illini players would be. And every possession the defense was breaking past the Illni offensive line.
W. Michigan is the third best team in the MAC and they beat Illinois???? They did it plain and simple by outcoaching them. Get used to it Illini fans. Last year was a wet dream and now reality is upon us.
Lou Tepper

Chicago, IL

#16 Nov 8, 2008
How on earth did the Illini beat Iowa last week. They must have cheated.

Go Hawkeyes!... Beat #3 Penn State
gainesville

Ocala, FL

#17 Nov 8, 2008
When are the fire Ron Zook stickers coming out. They were a hot item in Gainesville. Schools in the SEC had please keep Ron stickers on their cars.
kevin

United States

#18 Nov 8, 2008
gainesville wrote:
Could there be a div III team be looking for a coaching staff. This has to be the worse coaching in the NCAA. Williams is so overated that it makes me sick when announcers brag on him. He doesn't read defences very well. He watches his receivers all the way. Throw to Benn 3 times in 3rd quarter, none in the 4th quarter. I don't know if its Williams poor reads or Locksly play calling both sucked today. Illinois has no offense inside the 10 yard line. How about a qb sneak by a 6'3 230 lb qb with less than a yard to go(twice). Cumberland is not even in the game the last series, why? Complete 3 passes to a tight end who was open on almost every play. Benn is you main man and you forget about him in the fourth quarter. Mallory better kiss Zooks behind, because if he is let go he couldn't get a job in div II football. The defense looked as lost as a high school j.v. team. Why wouldn't the offense run a screen pass with all the blitzing going on? How about an end around or a reverse? Where were the quick slants or end side routes? All year we have had to watch this dismill play calling. Locksly is by far the worse play caller inside the 10 yard line, see all the games this year where Illinois failed to score inside the 10. If Zook wants to keep his job, he better get rid of the dead wheight coaches he has. I had to watch Zooks bad coaching in Florida and was sick when he came to Illinois. Maybe Illinois could give him a job as chief recruiter and not head coach.
Juice is not overrated...he leads the big 10 in passing yards and total offense. he needs a running game to help him out. everone knows illinois only has three plays the option, the run and the play action pass. how can you blame a who has the best stats in the big 10. what about the offensive line. he needs more time. the announcers knows that its not all his fault.no qb can suceeed without a running game or offensive line and a coaching staff with only three plays.Why do he have to throw 45 passes a game? answer- no running game .
Josh

Chicago, IL

#19 Nov 8, 2008
The top 3 teams in the MAC (all in the West Division, btw) are just flat-out better than middle-tier Big Ten teams. That's why, in most cases, the Big Ten teams won't schedule these games, especially on the road.
gainesville

Ocala, FL

#20 Nov 8, 2008
kevin wrote:
YOU GUYS DONT KNOW FOOTBALL... You CANT BLAME JUICE THE OFFENSIVE LINE IS TERRIBLE....HE HAS TO RUSH HIS THROWS TOO MANY TIMES WITHOUT GETTING TO STEP INTO IT...THATS WHY HES INCONSISTENT...AND THE ILLINI DONT HAVE A RUNNING GAME. SO TEAMS KNOW JUICE HAVE TO BEAT THEM. THE OFFENSE WAS DURING GOOD THE FIRST HAVE OF THE SEASON WITH DUFRENE AS THE STARTING RUNNING BACK. NOW THEY BRING IN FORD WHO CANT CUT IT. DUFRENE NEEDS TO BE RUNNING BACK THROUGH OUT AND THEY NEED TO PLAY MCGEE AS A RECEIVER AND MIX THEY PLAY CALLING. THE ILLINI ONLY RUNS THREE PLAYS EITHER A RUN, PLAY ACTION PASS OR THE OPTION. HOW ABOUT RUNNING THE END OF ROUTE OR SOMETHING OF THAT NATURE LIKE OHIO STATE. JUICE HAS A GOOD ARM BUT THE PLAY CALLING, OFFENSIVE LINE AND LACK OF A RUNNING BACK IS HURTING HIM.
Play calling is terrible, but can't a qb check off? The slats and outs were open all day. Illinois was looking for that big play instead of getting first downs. Juice can't read defences and looks at his recievers all the way. He would be even worse if he didn't have some good recievers. I don't think I have seen a worse qb in side the 10 yardline. The coaches can trust him to run a good qb sneak from the 1 foot line. how many times this year has Illinois failed to get a short yardage first down or touch down. I believe McGee is a better qb. He throws a better pass and is quicker that Williams. I do believe Locksly is the biggest problem, but Juice has to share some of the blame

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