Illinois continues to preach greatness, still isn’t doing enough


By Tatiania Perry, Staff Writer

Each week it’s the same old story: Illinois starts off the game strong, something spectacular happens, then they eventually start to choke, and in the end, they lose.

I am sick and tired of watching it happen, and I am sure everyone is sick and tired of reading the same thing.

The only thing that ever changes is which defensive player made the really flashy play to trick us into thinking things have finally changed for the better and that this game will be different.

This time it was Dele Harding’s return for a touchdown.

Things, like always, looked promising.

Of course, until tragedy struck.

In the second quarter, Brandon Peters suffered a nasty hit, and then he eventually limped off the field to the injury tent shaking his head.

I’m not saying Peters is the glue that holds the offensive side of the ball together, but he is something. After he left the field and Matt Robinson was the one left playing, there wasn’t much offense of any sort happening on the field.

The defense was forced to put most of the points up on the board. Passes weren’t connecting and runs were looking weak.

Robinson is young. Robinson is inexperienced. Robinson got thrown in at a terrible time and did the best he could. However, his best wasn’t good enough.

Was this lack of preparation? Was this loss just inevitable given the caliber of team Minnesota is?

I have never been one to jump on the Lovie Smith firing bandwagon and I’m not going to start now, but whatever method that he is using for this team doesn’t seem to be showing much growth.

The defense is getting better in the sense that it capitalizes on mistakes much better, putting on heavy defense on days the offense often fall short and vice versa.

There is almost no showing of the Illini playing all three phases of the game, and it’s becoming apparent that they will always be lacking.

Illinois just won’t play how they need to.

When playing teams that Illinois should clearly dominate, such as University of Connecticut, there are still instances in which they fall short.

But when they are evenly matched or even playing an obviously better team, it seems as though the team gets discouraged quickly.

For the team to be able to do more on the field, there needs to be a different mindset off the field. Preaching that you’re going to win this next game and ignoring the loss isn’t necessarily working and probably isn’t even that good of a tactic.

The Gophers had some cool statistics at least. For the first time since 2004, Minnesota started its season 5-0, so congratulations on that, Coach Fleck.


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