Was the Big Win over Illinois Deceiving?

Well, this ticket stub isn’t me this time.  I had to work, so my granddaughter got to go to the game in my place.  Thank goodness however for TiVo, because with the game recorded I was able to watch the game and replay several plays to watch what happened.  It’s a very different way to watch the game as compared to viewing the game from Section 9.  Even with the expected rain today for the Michigan State game, I’m still going to be excited to be in the stadium again.

On offense, after the first few runs, I saw Toussaint again just not hitting the line with any authority.  Thomas Rawls was much better.  In our running game, you can’t stop and try to pick a hole.  You need to head to that crease and then drive through it.  If you stop and dance, you’re going to get tackled for a loss whether the play is going up the middle or wide to the outside.  I know Toussaint has this in him.  I just want to look the guy in the eye and say hit the hole, and if someone is there, at least run them over and gain a yard.

It’s hard to be unhappy in a game where you run up so many points though.  We executed fairly well, I just think Illinois is that bad.  Bellomy had the opportunity to get in the game and run the offense, and though I thought his performance wasn’t anything exciting, the experience of getting in and running at game speed is good and will pay dividends for him down the road.

On defense, I’m very concerned about our run defense.  Lost in shutting down the Illinois offense, particularly in the first half is that we regularly seemed to give up 5-7 yards on first down.  Now against Illinois maybe we can turn those downs around and not give up 3-5 more yards on 2nd and 3rd for a first down, but I don’t think we can afford to do that against Michigan State.  If we let the Spartans run downhill against us, it is going to be a long day, and I don’t know that we can contain Le’Veon Bell this way.  We need to make stops on 1st down and force Maxwell to go to the air against us.

Now that I’ve expressed my concern, we did look very good on defense overall, coming up with defensive stops when we need them.  Maybe the biggest improvement seems to be that our tackling is getting much better.  The biggest improvement from last year to this year and even through this year has been our tackling.  I love the number of guys who are getting to the ball, but more than that, I like that the first guy to the ball usually doesn’t miss.

Today, this team needs to make it’s mark.  As they take on the Spartans, who no one on this team has ever beaten, they need to pull it all together and perform.   Mr. Kovacs, Mr. Robinson, I’ll be there cheering you on.  I’m tired of all the green on my facebook wall.  Let’s do this!

For the new follower who liked the ticket stub on the yostsection25.com page last week, We’ll start and end this week with ticket stubs.  Watch for more pictures in next weeks post.


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