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  1. #1
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    Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    I love being a huge favorite, but felt like I had to do my own analysis. So, here are a few thoughts that mostly come from analyzing the Leatherneck (I love saying that) media guide:

    1. Expect a run emphasis. Both of their productive RBs return. Caulton Ray, senior, was pretty steady all through last season (14-18 carries per game for approximately 80 yards per game with a few lower and higher games). Nikko Watson, sophomore, didnít play until the eighth game, but immediately became a workhorse with 30 carries and 149 yards in his first game and no less than 15 carries after that. Both finished with 100+ yards against North Dakota State in a game where a backup QB threw only 6 passes.

    Only 2 of their top 5 most productive receivers return. Charles Chestnut (another fun name), senior, is the leading returning receiver with an average of just 29 yards per game. Justin Morgan, senior, is the only other returning receiver with an average of more than 10 yards per game (18.7). Chestnutís stats suggest that he only tries to get open for short gains. He was 2 for 18, 1 for 7, and 1 for 6 in the last three games where he had catches.

    Josh Hudson, senior QB, threw for only 150 yards per game. If they have a trustworthy backup QB who can throw, they didnít use him last year. In their last game, the backup QB threw only 6 times.

    2. Watch out for the occasional big play downfield. Morgan looks like he gets downfield, either for catches or with runs after catches. He had games of 4 for 45, 1 for 13, 2 for 37, 2 for 22, but also 1 for 36 and 1 for 31.

    3. Take advantage of poor tackling. Theon Dixon, senior, is the only one of the top 5 tacklers from last year returning. They only have six players returning who had 20 tackles all last season. It appears to be a year of rebuilding the defense, even though they werenít very good last year.

    4. Donít worry about long field goals. Their field goal kicker, Pat Smith, junior, was 6 for 12 last year with his longest being only 26 yards. He missed tries of 48, 30, and 34 yards.

    5. Go for a blocked punt. Last year, they punted 71 times, but they have a new punter this year.

    6. Watch out for the unknown new players from Catholic schools. Western Illinois is filled with unknowns. If they had good players on the bench or redshirted, they kept them under wraps last year (or maybe just like to play seniors). Of course, you never really know who they have for sure until the game is played.

    Frankly, I always worry a little when a squad is packed with players from Catholic high schools. They have at least 19 players from Catholic high schools, including offensive lineman T.J. Palme (#60) who is from Dowling. Generally, I find kids from Catholic high school programs, especially big city ones like Chicagoís Brother Rice and Mount Carmel, more ready to transition to college because their high school programs are so elaborate and well-supported.

    Still, it will be awesome to cover the spread . . .



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    Re: Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    My analysis

    Just put the pedal to the floor and get our running backs churning. Forget the pass to avoid turnovers and roll the ball downfield behind our line.

    On defense, help Jake get to the pros and stuff their offensive line when they run.

    On punt returns, try to run them back for practice.

    Play Sweet Caroline after the first quarter.


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    My analysis

    Just put the pedal to the floor and get our running backs churning. Forget the pass to avoid turnovers and roll the ball downfield behind our line.

    On defense, help Jake get to the pros and stuff their offensive line when they run.

    On punt returns, try to run them back for practice.

    Play Sweet Caroline after the first quarter.
    And score 100


    John Walters is my hero

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    Re: Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    My analysis...

    Western Illinois was 2-9 last year including a 69-0 loss to Missouri last year, the only FBS school they played. I'd look for mostly one-way traffic for us as long as we give the Leathernecks a heavy dose of Shontrelle and James White. It should be over by halftime.


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  5. #5
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    Re: Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    Yeah, that is exactly what I hope to happen. After doing some analysis of Western Illinois, I see why we are 38 point favorites and really think we can do it. Man, that will be fun to watch.



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    Re: Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    The WIU fan I met yesterday thinks they have a shot. He said they were a pass heavy team, but hadn't needed to pass during the first 2 weeks. He was pretty drunk.



    Quote Originally Posted by clonedude View Post
    Football is just a stupid game. Who cares who has the better football team. It's just a game.

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    Re: Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    Score 21 points in first qtr, defense post shut out throughout most of game - act like a Big 12 team and dominate line of scrimmage on both sides and cruise to a 45 to 3 victory.



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    Re: Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    CPR won't run up the score on purpose, so 41-7 or 44-7 sounds about right. I expect a lot of backup action, esp if it gets to be 20+ point lead. Could be the game Nealy comes out? Bundrage? Barnett? Richardson? Other youngsters?

    Both lines will dominate. I do expect our offense will still make some mistakes, whether first team or backups... sadly.

    Wish this cupcake was NOT right before the bye week. Much prefer bye week later when guys are banged up and need rest. The starters will get rest today, I think.



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    Re: Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by cycarob View Post
    The WIU fan I met yesterday thinks they have a shot. He said they were a pass heavy team, but hadn't needed to pass during the first 2 weeks. He was pretty drunk.
    Are you certain this wasn't a Hawkeye fan? Would be my guess...



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    Re: Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    I'm analyzing the fact that one of our recruits, Nick Severs, is from Macomb, Western Illinois' home. Wonder how he feels about that? Nah, never mind.




    Paul Rhoads' players never quit.
    (They just disappear offseason)


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    Re: Pre-Analysis of Western Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by Aclone View Post
    I'm analyzing the fact that one of our recruits, Nick Severs, is from Macomb, Western Illinois' home. Wonder how he feels about that? Nah, never mind.
    I'm both a Macomb High and Western Illinois grad, and my view is, it would have been great for us to get him, but if he's good enough to be recruited by Big 12 team, then he should go for it. I'll be cheering for him to have success for you guys. Also, sometimes you'll see kids from Macomb (or any smaller town) who pretty much just want to go out and see somewhere else when they get out of high school. I don't begrudge him that.

    His family is fairly wealthy (for rural standards...they own a 6-store chain of farm supply/department stores that are scattered around west central Illinois, with one in W. Burlington, IA), so they can probably afford season tickets, transportation and hotel rooms for home games, so that wouldn't have been a huge issue for them.


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