The Fighting Illini lost to Michigan yesterday by only two points. The Illini made it into triple overtime against the Wolverines in a game where the score ended at 67-65. The overtimes were played exactly as the rest of the game was played, scoring back and forth. It seemed that throughout the game whoever had the ball last was going to win. It was absolutely insane that the game came down to both teams having to go for two after scoring, I did not even know that was a rule.
Although the Illini defense let up so many points, the team did play very well. The Wolverines had 6 turnovers, one of them being a turnover on downs. I would say that is pretty good for the defense. As I was watching the game I realized that the Illini offense was leading the game. Their offense was able to move the ball at will against the poor Wolverine defense. As I realized this I also realized that the Wolverines just got the ball so many times that there was no way for the Illini to stop them every time. The Wolverines have a good offense that is hard to match on defense so when a good offense has so many opportunities to score, it is hard to stop that. I do not blame the Illini defense for the loss.
I hate to just come out and say it, but I believe that Illini Coach Ron Zook is to blame for Illinois’ loss. On the final play of the game, the missed two-point conversion, Zook called a passing play. Now one, the Illini’s running game could not be stopped the entire game. The Wolverine’s defense was so tired that we were able to run it down their throat, but for some reason Zook decided to throw the ball which just blows my mind because we did not throw the ball well. The Michigan defense ended up basically blitzing everyone on defense and sacking Nathan Scheelhaase. Scheelhaase did have two people open but he just could not get it off because of the defense coming at him. I was liking Zook this year but after that play I feel the same way about him as I did last year, I do not trust him with our team.
About the Author
Written by Gregg Pluta
I am currently a sophomore in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.