Sweet tapdancing Pinkel! The Tigers came out on a mission Saturday, and simply destroyed the Cryin' Illini, as usual I guess. The Illini haven't beat Mizzou in St. Louis since 1896 if I heard that correctly, so I'd say there is a bit of history in the Illini getting scalped. Of course, I like to sit down for close to 24hrs before going apeshit on my postgame stuff. It tempers expectations a bit, and gets me away from buying unnecessary things...or not (more on that in a minute). So, how'd it go down at The Ed for the 37-9 win?
With the history of the Illannoy series at The Ed, there's always been a new star born. This year, I picked (like several people) Wes Kemp. Don't get me wrong, he didn't disappoint (4 catches, 77yds, TD). Neither did my favorite Tiger, Super DaNario (10 catches, 132yds). Dude had some electrifying plays to say the least. But the '09 breakout player was Blaine Gabbert. Replacing Chance McDanielson, Gabbert smoked the Illini like a bag of cheeba in Tommy Chong's VW bus. Get this line- 25/33, 319yds passing, three passing TDs, 10 carries, 39yds rushing, and another TD. Big number though: NO TURNOVERS, which is something that hurt the Tigers at times last year. Chase had the cajones and backed it up, but he'd have a tipped ball go back the other way at times. Blaine made the correct calls every time, and was more conservative than an Amish strip club.
The defense was stellar to say the least. Will Ebner, welcome. Sean Weatherspoon played well, and was in on everything. His smoke job on the sideline was very nice. The secondary played tre-damn-mendous considering what we've come to know over the past year. I heard Carl Gettis' name as many times as I a heard that annoying Gene Simmons Dr. Pepper commercial. Side note- Gene Simmons has to be top five on the "Most annoying people in the world", correct? The guy pimps himself like crazy and became a fixture because he wore makeup. Sounds like a regular Thursday night at True Son's house, so why is Gene famous?
Sean Weatherspoon might be the coolest dude around.
Rejus Benn is a good player, but doesn't make up a 28pt different. He isn't Dean Cain shooting at a 25 foot basket at Rock n Jock for 25pts. Sorry. Don't use that excuse.
The secondary left everything in front of them, and Juice took what they gave him. Can't blame him with the dink and dunk plays. The fact that the secondary didn't let guys get behind them was huge. The Illini have a very good wideout corps. Jarred Fayson is going to have his way with most B10 corners.
Aldon Smith might be a reincarnation of Godzilla. Just sayin'.
Our DLine was sketchy. Great against the inside run. Iffy on the option at times, but got the job done most of the time (110 total yards rushing with a running QB. Not bad.). There wasn't a lot of pressure on Juice though, and it concerns me because Illannoy doesn't have a really good OLine. Sure, Juice will scramble, and is an athlete, so maybe the fact that he was able to get outside the pocket before it collapsed has a lot to do with that, but I just didn't see the pressure that I thought would be a key to the game. Of course, I say this with three sacks, but if I remember, Juice took off to run one of them, and the 4th and falling down all over the place play counts as one.
Now to our Shakespeare's Pizza Playa of the Game. Honestly, about six different players deserve it; Gabbert, Kemp, DA, Spoon, Aldon Smith, or Carl Gettis. If they can spring for a couple of large pies, go for it, but we'll go with our original breakout player, Blaine Gabbert. Go get yourself a slice, son! You deserved it.
Podcast on Tuesday, and Bowling Green on Saturday. My hatred of Bowling Green has already started. I hate bowling, and I'm more of a yellow guy. I'm steaming!
Also, I'm back in StL this weekend, so if you know of a good place to head for the PPV on Saturday night, shoot me an email. I'd prefer to stay on the Eastside (yeah, I'm picky), but I have a feeling I'll end up in Florissant, St. Chuck, or Hazelwood.
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