The Other Side

September 29, 2012

There was nothing illegal about it, but the tactics head coach Tim Beckman used last summer call into question the Illini leader’s ethics. I doubt Beckman got what he really came for in State College but I guarantee his … 

SUBHD: No. 1: Finish drives The Nittany Lions should be able to move the ball on the Illini defense, which hasn’t blitzed much and has a subpar secondary, but they have to be efficient in the red zone and not let scoring chances slip away. The 2007 trip to …

The recruiting tactics of the Illini? Would just make a win that much sweeter. So, here’s three areas to watch Saturday: 1. Offensive line play: The unit has been solid all season, allowing just three sacks through four games, best in the Big Ten. 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State will open its 20th Big Ten football season on Saturday at Illinois (2-2) when the Nittany Lions (2-2) clash with the Illini at noon (ESPN). The Lions enter conference play with momentum following back-to-back wins at …

But for as well as they remember what the last meeting between the Nittany Lions and Fighting Illini was, none seem to recall it primarily for what it turned out to be. On the heels of a historic 2011 meeting, Penn State and Illinois will renew … 

The Lions, like the Illini, have won two straight games, including 24-13 over Temple a week ago. “I try to get a feel for how the defense is playing. So far, obviously the defense has played, for the most part, pretty well,” O’Brien said. 

O’Brien and the Nittany Lions have done a good job of underplaying any lingering anger that exists against the Fighting Illini since first-year head coach Tim Beckman sent his assistants to State College, Pa., to see if any Penn State players … 

No. 1: Finish drives The Nittany Lions should be able to move the ball on the Illini defense, which hasn’t blitzed much and has a subpar secondary, but they have to be efficient in the red zone and not let scoring chances …

“If we lose this one, we’re out of the race early,” he said. “We have to take it one game at a time.” The Fighting Illini were erratic in non-conference play, beating Western Michigan and Division I-AA Charleston Southern …   

September 28, 2012

1. PROTECT MATT McGLOIN. Illnois’ defense has allowed too many points (104) in four games but the Illini have some very good players in their front seven. PSU’s offensive line has struggled early in some games … 

Penn State’s defense has allowed a total of just 20 points over its last two games — the team’s only two wins of the season — and the unit is looking to keep that momentum going against Scheelhaase and the Fighting Illini in Champaign this Saturday. 

And yes, Virginia, they could just as easily be 3-1. As amazing as it seems, the soon-to-be 2-3 Illini are seemingly in a worse situation than Penn State. A good portion of the blame is on Illinois coach Tim Beckman. He showed his character when he brought … 

September 27, 2012

Penn State has some momentum going into a matchup at Illinois that brings with it a little added motivation. Illini coach Tim Beckman showed no regrets for the decision to bring his coaches to State College and make … 

We’ve got to be prepared for anything.” Hill said he’ll be motivated for the first Big Ten game, but not because Fighting Illini coaches flew to State College to recruit Penn State players after the NCAA sanctions last … 

September 26, 2012

STATE COLLEGE – Penn State’s over it. If there’s any lingering bitterness against Illinois for the way Illini coaches recruited Nittany Lions in the wake of NCAA sanctions, head coach Bill O’Brien and his players certainly didn’t voice it Tuesday. 

Zordich said Tuesday he plans to play against the Illini. “I took a hit, that’s all,” he said. “I’ll be all right for Saturday and for the rest of the season.” Zwinak, a seldom-used 6-1, 232-pound redshirt sophomore, filled in for Zordich … 

STATE COLLEGE — Penn State’s over it. If there’s any lingering bitterness against Illinois for the way Illini coaches recruited Nittany Lions in the wake of NCAA sanctions, head coach Bill O’Brien and his players certainly didn’t voice it Tuesday. 

STATE COLLEGE – Bill O’Brien isn’t focusing on the past. When it came to the topic of Illinois sending its coaches to State College this summer to recruit Nittany Lions, O’Brien just kept the discussion to preparing for … 

But when he was asked whether he and Fighting Illini coach Tim Beckman had met in Chicago in July and resolved their differences, as Beckman said they did, O’Brien answered tersely. “I think I met him at the Big Ten … 

Bill Belton (ankle), Derek Day (shoulder), Michael Zordich (knee) and Curtis Dukes (thigh) are expected to be ready for Penn State (2-2) against the Fighting Illini (2-2) (noon, TV-ESPN) at Memorial Stadium. Belton, the … 

Defensive tackle Jordan Hill notes “it wasn’t like they were the only people trying to contact us,” but the Illini’s pursuit of Penn State players never sat well with the team in the summer, and for some players, Hill said, it … 

The PSU camp is choosing to keep its answers simple and politically correct regarding the biggest topic of the week to prevent giving the Illini any bulletin-board material. “We’ve really gotten over it,” defensive tackle Jordan Hill said. “We don’t care … 

September 25, 2012

This could work. The Lions and Illini play in the same Leaders Division. In the past ten years, Penn State has pulled a few upsets over their basketball team. Champaign does not have the proximity as Pittsburgh, hey it … 

Illinois week is here, a matchup that many Penn State fans and players had circled since the moment the Illini staff spent a week in State College trying to recruit Bill O’Brien’s players. The two programs are headed in … 

With the Fighting Illini set to meet Penn State on Saturday in Champaign, Ill., Beckman is being forced to answer questions about the situation again. “When we had that opportunity to go out and ask young men, or if … 

Illinois head coach Tim Beckman confirmed at Big Ten Media Day in July that part of his staff made the trip to Happy Valley just days after the sanctions were levied, though he noted no Illini coaches stepped on campus. Offensive lineman Ryan … 

Continued… This isn’t an enviable position to be in. But, in a sense, would you rather be Illinois? Like Penn State, the Illini are 2-2. And while they can still go to a bowl or whatever else presents itself, they already find themselves in a … 

STATE COLLEGE – Illinois first-year head coach Tim Beckman said Monday he did not regret his decision to send coaches to Penn State to recruit after the NCAA levied unprecedented penalties on the program. But … 

Michael Mauti smiled when someone asked him Saturday whether he and his Penn State teammates have an ax to grind with Illinois, their opponent in five days. “Yeah, (but) I’m going to avoid that question,” Mauti said. 

The Illini were the only Big Ten school to capitalize on the NCAA transfer rules, snagging redshirt freshman offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki. Yesterday, Beckman explained himself to Patriot-News columnist David Jones. 

It’s Illinois week, and everyone in the Lasch Football Building remembers the recruiting tactics of the Illini staff after the NCAA declared any Penn State player is free to transfer to any school in the country without having to sit a season out. 

September 21, 2012

  • Illinois braces for La Tech offensive onslaught – Houma Courier

    With the cascade of injuries, Illinois’ offense has been, at best, uneven. The Illini are averaging 353 yards a game, 92nd in the country, and only 153 yards on the ground. Their 27.3 points a game is padded with the 44 Illinois scored against … 

September 20, 2012

  • Illinois Getting Healthy In Time For Louisiana Tech Visit – KTBS

    The 2-1 Illinois Fighting Illini have been banged up during the early portion of the 2012 campaign.  When Louisiana Tech visits Saturday night, the Bulldogs will be the first team to face a full-force Illini squad.

September 9, 2012

ASU’s defense deserves credit, too. Its speed caused Illinois fits, although the enthusiasm has to be tempered by the absence of injured Fighting Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase. Graham deserves credit for bringing the most out of his … 

He also had a 16-yard catch on third-and-7 on the opening scoring drive. That was just a warm-up for the Illini, whom he scorched for catches of 20 yards, 19, 30 and 21 in the first half plus his 1- and 3-yard touchdown receptions. 

September 8, 2012

The football programs of Illinois and Arizona State are under new management, and the meeting of the two teams Saturday night is supposed to be the first serious test for both first-year coaches. But the Illini may be …

The Illini will count on Buchanan to generate pressure on the quarterback and command extra attention from the ASU blocking scheme. Jon Davis – The sophomore tight end led the team in rushing last week. Could he …

September 7, 2012

September 5, 2012

With Illinois starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase’s status for Saturday’s game against Arizona State up in the air, the Illini might need to turn to their second and third string signal-callers in Tempe. Believe it or not, there was a time … 

But when Ron Zook was fired as Illini’s football coach after the 2011 season, West said, “We all kind of scrambled (to find new jobs).” West and Chip Long, both on Zook’s staff for two years, landed on Graham’s first …

On defense, the Illini are stout. It should give Graham’s up-tempo offense and new starting QB Taylor Kelly a far bigger challenge than Northern Arizona did in week one. Still, the Sun Devils appear far more likely than … 

“He’s much better than he was yesterday,” Illini coach Tim Beckman told reporters. “He said he felt pretty good. I think any time you have an injury to the ankle, it’s going to progress — and it’s been progressing and we’ll … 

September 4, 2012

For the Sun Devils, it’ll be a chance to exact revenge against an Illini team that edged them 17-14 in Champaign last season and give the staff a better idea of where they stand overall as the level of competition begins to … 

The Arizona State Sun Devils will host the University of Illinois Fighting Illini at Frank Kush Field/Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will mark just the third time these two teams have played and is the second in … 

September 2, 2012

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A year ago, quarterback Alex Carder called Western Michigan’s three-point loss to Illinois gut-wrenching, a game the Broncos were so close to winning but couldn’t put away. Saturday was worse. The Western Michigan offense … 

Many pundits were lauding the talent the Illini have on both sides of the ball. That makes the performance turned in by the D all the more impressive in my mind. Take away the 60+ yard TD pass on play #4, which … 

“I think we’ve got to run the ball better, a lot better.” The most damaging of the interceptions was the last, and it gave the Illini the game. Down 17-0 and with Illinois driving late in the third quarter, Donald Celiscar … 

September 1, 2012

This is the first hurdle.” Carder headed up a forgettable offensive effort on Saturday in front of 43,441 at Memorial Stadium against Big Ten foe Illinois, leading to a 24-7 Illini victory. On the other side of the ball, the Bronco … 

CHAMPAIGN, ILL. — A year ago, quarterback Alex Carder called Western Michigan’s three-point loss to Illinois gut-wrenching, a game the Broncos were so close to winning but couldn’t put away. Saturday was … 

Redshirt freshman Timmy Keith, who was listed as the No. 3 receiver on the depth chart entering the game against Illinois, suffered a major knee injury on the Broncos’ first kick return following an Illini touchdown and …

He added 19 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Illini made the most of Western’s turnovers, scoring late in the fourth on an interception to put the game out of reach. The bright spot for Western Michigan was … 

Second down: Will WMU’s new-look defense be effective against an improved Nathan Scheelhaase and an Illini ground game? The Broncos’ defense will be better against an Illinois power run game that will be looking to … 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – We entered town guided only by a line of corn fields, and our GPS, to eventually find ourselves speaking to a Memorial Stadium worker about where press passes could be picked up and how the …

August 30, 2012

Jackson and I recently exchanged emails and offered each other our insight on Saturday’s matchup between the Illini and Western Michigan University. You can check out all of Jackson’s work and other Illinois … 

 August 29, 2012

  • BIG TEN: New Illini coach says depth to be tested by Broncos – The Oakland Press

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — New Illinois coach Tim Beckman knows from experience that Western Michigan likes to put the ball in the air. Beckman said Tuesday that the key to defending the Broncos in Saturday’s …  

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