Thursday, November 1, 2007

Playing catch up

Well, I've been very tired up with work the last couple of days and haven't had much time to write, so I've got some things to catch up on.

Illinois comes rolling into town this week and rolling they are. Ron Zook hit the recruiting trail a couple of years ago when he came to the Big 10 to lead Illinois. The Illini weren't supposed to do anything significant until next year, but Zook's efforts are already paying off. This is good news and bad news for Gopher fans. The bad news, of course, is that we have to play Illinois this week, and they are a good football team.

The good news for Gopher fans is that recruiting was Zook's #1 priority when he got to Illinois, as has been Coach Brewster's priority, and it has paid off for Zook, and it has paid off early.

The Illini started off their season by losing to a very good Missouri team, and then rattled off 5 wins in a row, including beating Penn State and Wisconsin, before dropping close games to Iowa and Michigan. They got back on the winning track last week with a W over Ball State, as they put up 324 yards rushing.

These guys can run. Rashard Mendenhall already has over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns, and Juice Williams has rushed for over 400 yards from under center. They are averaging 240 yards on the ground/game.

Until the NDSU game I thought that the Gophers defense was pretty good against the run, but obviously NDSU and Michigan absolutely SHATTERED that thinking. But this is a game (and I know, BELIEVE ME I KNOW, there have been a lot of times that I've said these words this year) that the Gophers can win.

There are some intangibles that make this game pretty interesting. First of all, it's homecoming for the Gophers, so the students and the players will be fired up. The fans could be absolutely NUTS for this game for that reason, and the fact that it's a 7 p.m. kickoff.

In addition Coach Brewster is coaching against his alma-mater and the school that did not interview him for their coaching vacancy a few years ago. Brewster says that his personal feelings on this game do not come into play... but we know Coach Brewster is a passionate man, so don't be surprised if he's a little fired up for this onen.

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