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UA1987

Illinois - August 31st

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One good thing that happened for this game is that Lovie Smith was given a contract extension. To date Coach Smith has not been able to to provide the teaching skills, motivation, or recruiting effort needed for the Illini to develop in the three or so years he has been in Champaign. Glad he is still there and he has taken over as the DC to boot. I briefly saw their spring game and they possess a lot of team speed and a big T/E, which could give Akron a lot of trouble. Their QB's seem to be still developing and their defense has been atrocious. I got the feeling I was watching a Toledo caliber team, but without the stellar coaching.

 

Akron will be running new schemes in 2019 so this could be problematic, but if the Zips hold on early I give Akron a shot, despite it being in a big ten stadium with big ten refs. I expect that Chief Illiniwek will have the Illinois program fully informed of the Zips victory over Northwestern last year so the Zips will not be taken too lightly to our detriment. Let's hope for a better outcome than in 1996 when a poor Iliinois football team (ended season 2-9) did everything right, it seemed, and beat the struggling Zips 38-7.           

Edited by UA1987

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You have to go back to John Mackovic (1988-1991) to find a coach that left Illinois with a winning record. Odds are whoever the coach was going to be they weren't going to be good.

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I've been paying attention to IL a little closer than usual this offseason. Seems like they've brought in a lot of transfers. Most of which 1) actually ended up somewhere else at the end of the day or 2) players who have to sit who they thought might be able to be immediately eligible.  Their projected starting QB is also transferring out. Seeing Fink, the new projected starting QB, not being committed is great news. 

 

We can beat these guys.

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6 hours ago, LZIp said:

I've been paying attention to IL a little closer than usual this offseason. Seems like they've brought in a lot of transfers. Most of which 1) actually ended up somewhere else at the end of the day or 2) players who have to sit who they thought might be able to be immediately eligible.  Their projected starting QB is also transferring out. Seeing Fink, the new projected starting QB, not being committed is great news. 

 

We can beat these guys.

 

 

Wow.  What a train wreck.  Good think I moved from Illinois so I don't have to associate with them anymore.  This is going to be a nice way for you to open the season.  Win as big as the paycheck!  

Edited by Cykron

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We had never beaten a Big Ten program prior to last season. 

 

I think we have Big Ten wins in back to back seasons. B)

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I wish we were playing this Illinois team in year 3 or 4 of Arth's tenure. We're facing an Illinois team while they're down, but they're also facing an Akron team that will be pretty depleted as well.

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3 hours ago, kreed5120 said:

I wish we were playing this Illinois team in year 3 or 4 of Arth's tenure. We're facing an Illinois team while they're down, but they're also facing an Akron team that will be pretty depleted as well.

And still learning new systems.

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4 hours ago, Blue & Gold said:

And still learning new systems.

On the bright side, 50% of the new system will be better than 100% of Milwee's

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So true. :bow:

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Speaking of this game, I know it is only May, but are any of you thinking of making the trip over for this one?  And from IlliniZip and Cykron, any ins and outs ahead of time we should know about?  I've got two buddies and the three of us are 85% sure we're going to this game....

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Its unlikely i'll make it considering its Labor Day weekend.

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1 hour ago, ZipsVoice said:

Speaking of this game, I know it is only May, but are any of you thinking of making the trip over for this one?  And from IlliniZip and Cykron, any ins and outs ahead of time we should know about?  I've got two buddies and the three of us are 85% sure we're going to this game....

 

 

I've never been there for a game, but have attended a few events over the years.  Perhaps the most helpful (if not obvious) thing I would say is that The University of Illinois is in Champaign, downstate and nowhere near Chicago.  The population of the "metro" is only 200,000.  This means that you should book hotels early because they don't have the inventory like Chicago (for which Northwestern that can host a home game and hardly make a dent on the local hotel availability).  Fortunately, they have little hope for their football team, so that should keep after-market ticket prices low.

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On 5/16/2019 at 5:25 AM, Zipmlady said:

Good feedback, after reviewing the inventory, we booked a hotel in Bloomington, IL.

 

 

Uh, Bloomington is an hour away . . . and the hotels are not all that much better.  Maybe if you are set on something like a Doubletree. 

 

I see a Country Inn in Champaign for $85 on Orbitz (Fri to Sun).  

 

Bloomington is home for Illinois State U, not the U of Illinois.  

Edited by Cykron

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On 5/20/2019 at 4:55 PM, Cykron said:

 

 

Uh, Bloomington is an hour away . . . and the hotels are not all that much better.  Maybe if you are set on something like a Doubletree. 

 

I see a Country Inn in Champaign for $85 on Orbitz (Fri to Sun).  

 

Bloomington is home for Illinois State U, not the U of Illinois.  

Thanks, we’re aware; we don’t mind making the drive, it’s a long weekend.

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9 hours ago, Zipmlady said:

Thanks, we’re aware; we don’t mind making the drive, it’s a long weekend.

 

 

OK, just checking.  Personally, I like staying in the midst of the opposing team's fan base.  It makes for a lot of interesting conversations, especially when there is Big 10 arrogance involved, as there is sure to be in this case.  

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The easiest nonconference schedules for Power 5 teams in 2019 according to Chris Low, a ESPN Senior Staff Writer.

 

#3. Illinois 
Schedule: Aug. 31 vs. Akron, Sept. 7 at UConn, Sept. 14 vs. Eastern Michigan

In his fourth season as Illinois' head coach, Lovie Smith could really use a good start to 2019, and the schedule is tailor-made for positivity. The Fighting Illini have yet to win more than four games in a season on Smith's watch, and any chance to get to a bowl game this year will most certainly hinge on going 3-0 in their nonconference games before Nebraska comes to town on Sept. 21. The only road trip is to UConn, which went 1-11 last season.

 

Make 'em pay Zips! 👊

 

 

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