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** 2022 Opponent Previews : Illinois (Game 8) **


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14 hours ago, admo said:

(Coaches) You got 2 weeks to focus on one thing: contain the running game

 

And if your Corners/DBs play back, you are setting yourself up for a disaster.

 

Be Blackshirts.  Contain the run game.  Be physical at the LOS with the DBs, and challenge THE OPPONENT (illinois) to make big plays over and over to beat you.  

 

I mean, every team in the west wants the Huskers to allow them space and lots of plays to get it done.  Enough is enough.  Scheme it up and go get them.  

 

After the game though, I don't want to hear "wow, Chase Brown is a good back"....... because we already know that.

 

 

I agree in this game/matchup the focus should be to contain the run game (be Blackshirts!) and force Illinois's QB to consistently beat you with his arm.

 

I disagree in this game/matchup that you are setting yourself up for disaster if you play the corners/DB's back because if the corners/DB's are locked on to the WR at the line of scrimmage then they make it easier for the WR to block them which springs Chase Brown for long(er) runs. Nebraska does not have somebody that can match up man-to-man with Chase Brown so zone, containment and gang tackling is the solution to containing/slowing him down. I have no issue being aggressive and going for some TFL's by blitzing out of the zone as long as it is focused on blitzing Chase Brown first and adjusting to Tommy DeVito once the blitzer(s) sees DeVito is passing/keeping. Force Tommy DeVito to consistently beat you with his arm and not his legs or Chase Browns' legs. A lot of DeVito's completions and yards come off play-action so those in coverage cannot get fooled by action in the backfield (DB's go with receivers first on action to running back and adjust accordingly to cleanup/help with run); let the front 7/8 focus on the run.

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My biggest concerns here are:

  1. Tackling Chase Brown
  2. Thompson not turning the ball over against the current top P5 defense at forcing turnovers
  3. Jump balls to their outside receivers (all 6'2+) against Hartzog who is probably not 5'9

They have not faced receivers with a ton of speed, but they also know what Palmer did against Purdue and I'm gonna guess they handle it differently than Purdue did. They have to feel pretty good about keeping a safety over top and still being able to stop our run game. This is where Martinez (or just a willingness to call more QB runs/reads) would be helpful. Or just something more creative than inside zone at least. It's very helpful that we have a bye here, gotta figure out a way to still get Palmer going while knowing Illinois will have a plan to stop the deep shots.

 

Bold prediction: Tommi Hill will have at least one long catch. We've got another week to work him into the offense, and they've already tried to scheme some things up. I didn't notice Hill here during the game, but we have him on a wheel and MJ said it might have been a TD if we got the throw off. If Illinois does go all out to limit Palmer I expect us to go deep on the other half of the field rather than dink and dunk underneath. Hill is the best equipped to be the other deep threat IMO.

 

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2 hours ago, BigRedBuster said:

He has his work cut out for him.  The rest of the WRs have to step up also.  What is the other corner like?  Are teams targeting that side because this guy is so good?

 

This is the caveat to all that.  I don't know how Illinois plays their defense.  The best corners are usually on the outside, not over the slot.  But we play Palmer in the slot quite a bit.  So do they change their defense.  Or perhaps they still play Witherspoon manned up on the outside and double Palmer with a safety.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Mavric said:

 

This is the caveat to all that.  I don't know how Illinois plays their defense.  The best corners are usually on the outside, not over the slot.  But we play Palmer in the slot quite a bit.  So do they change their defense.  Or perhaps they still play Witherspoon manned up on the outside and double Palmer with a safety.

 

 

Which, I would think would open up other options in both the passing and run game.  If they have to commit one safety to cover Palmer AND one to double team him, I would think others would be able to get open and produce.

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4 minutes ago, BigRedBuster said:

Which, I would think would open up other options in both the passing and run game.  If they have to commit one safety to cover Palmer AND one to double team him, I would think others would be able to get open and produce.

 

In theory, but who are you banking on to do that? 

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I'm hoping Tommi Hill can get some PT at WR. If he can somehow step up he has good size and reportedly pretty close in speed to Palmer. With that kind of speed on the outside somebody is going to get open whether it is one of the wide outs or underneath. Probably a long shot but hoping for the best.

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1 hour ago, admo said:

Cool.  Do yall feel like yall gon win this game?

 

Just curious..

I think we feel pretty confident about the game based off the past few.

 

Based off your Purdue game, most feel we should be able to do what we want on offense. We are getting our 2nd best RB, McCray, back and he is our thunder to Chase's lightning. DeVito looked like the real deal against Minnesota, who I feel like were selling out to stop Chase and DeVito made them pay.

Our biggest concern is redzone offense. Coming away with 3 too often. Many believe getting McCray back will help there. Play calling seems odd down there too. Have done a good job of ball protection other than Indiana when we had 4 TOs.

 

That Minnesota game didn't seem that close while watching it. Felt like we dominated the game start to finish. They had one offensive drive that defeated our defense, the other TD came off a long KO return to the 1.

 

Your QB will need to get the ball out of his hands QUICK if our past games are any indication. I feel like the Indiana game woke up our defense. They struggled some in the 1st half, dominated the 2nd half, gave up a 75 yard drive to lose the game when we backed off of our pressure coverage, we haven't backed off since, it feels like. I think it showed them they can dominate a game and pissed them off.

 

Sorry for the long post. Came just to see how others view us and I enjoy reading others message boards.

 

If you are the same I would suggest Illinoisloyalty.com

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3 hours ago, QCIllini13 said:

I think we feel pretty confident about the game based off the past few.

 

Based off your Purdue game, most feel we should be able to do what we want on offense. We are getting our 2nd best RB, McCray, back and he is our thunder to Chase's lightning. DeVito looked like the real deal against Minnesota, who I feel like were selling out to stop Chase and DeVito made them pay.

Our biggest concern is redzone offense. Coming away with 3 too often. Many believe getting McCray back will help there. Play calling seems odd down there too. Have done a good job of ball protection other than Indiana when we had 4 TOs.

 

That Minnesota game didn't seem that close while watching it. Felt like we dominated the game start to finish. They had one offensive drive that defeated our defense, the other TD came off a long KO return to the 1.

 

Your QB will need to get the ball out of his hands QUICK if our past games are any indication. I feel like the Indiana game woke up our defense. They struggled some in the 1st half, dominated the 2nd half, gave up a 75 yard drive to lose the game when we backed off of our pressure coverage, we haven't backed off since, it feels like. I think it showed them they can dominate a game and pissed them off.

 

Sorry for the long post. Came just to see how others view us and I enjoy reading others message boards.

 

If you are the same I would suggest Illinoisloyalty.com

Thank you.  And yes you should feel like the better team going into the game.

 

Can I ask, is the 6-1 start a happy shock?  Like, what was your outlook for Illinois this year?

 

So far yall playn lights out

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10 hours ago, admo said:

Thank you.  And yes you should feel like the better team going into the game.

 

Can I ask, is the 6-1 start a happy shock?  Like, what was your outlook for Illinois this year?

 

So far yall playn lights out

Absolute shock. Many were thinking 7 wins.any are still waiting for the other shoe to drop but the boys are passing test after test. Every game someone was saying yeah but wait until and when that until came we seemed to do better than the last wait until.

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8 hours ago, QCIllini13 said:

Absolute shock. Many were thinking 7 wins.any are still waiting for the other shoe to drop but the boys are passing test after test. Every game someone was saying yeah but wait until and when that until came we seemed to do better than the last wait until.

Awesome.  That means yall are doing things to win games week in and week out.

 

Lincoln used to be a super tough place to play, but not so much over the years.  

 

Yall should be a road favorite me thinks.

 

Hope you enjoy the game and the rest of the year.  No offense, I hope it's a fun game for all of us, and the Huskers find a way to win :)  But I am not holding my breath.  

 

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1 hour ago, admo said:

Awesome.  That means yall are doing things to win games week in and week out.

 

Lincoln used to be a super tough place to play, but not so much over the years.  

 

Yall should be a road favorite me thinks.

 

Hope you enjoy the game and the rest of the year.  No offense, I hope it's a fun game for all of us, and the Huskers find a way to win :)  But I am not holding my breath.  

 

Wouldn't expect any less. I always hope for no injuries both ways. Good luck the rest of the way except for next Sat.

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