CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — There was almost an upset at Memorial Stadium on Saturday when Illinois scored 25 unanswered to make it 28-25 against Michigan. But the Wolverines held on. Craig Choate and Robert Rosenthal break it down in the Sunday No Huddle.
“Robert Rosenthal back with us, IlliniBoard.com. It’s been a while since we’ve chatted with him. We’re going to recap the Michigan game from yesterday. But first, on your Twitter (@ALionEye), you’ve had ‘October 12th, 2019’ since Lovie was hired. Why?”
“I figured right when Lovie was hired that this was going to take a while. There wouldn’t be any breakout moments until the future. There were so many seniors that first year, he hadn’t got his first recruiting class and he wouldn’t until 2017 so I just figured that about midway through the fourth season would be this breakout moment. So it’s Michigan, Illinois has all these big moments against Michigan so I said ‘Okay, there’s the moment. That’s when we see where Illinois is at as a program, October 12th, 2019’.”
“So that day has come and gone, where are they at?”
“Not where they should be. It’s 4-25 in Big Ten games now. Obviously it’s not advanced to the point. Yes it was a game where if Eastern Michigan hadn’t happened, or if the Minnesota blowout hadn’t happened you could accept a game where you’re down 28-0 and suddenly you score 25 unanswered and it’s a game in the 4th quarter with nine minutes to go at 28-25. That’s an acceptable game against Michigan in a year where you’re building back. Because it takes them to 2-4, because they lost to Eastern Michigan they’re just running out of chances to get those wins.”
“Come back, score 25 unanswered. That shows some grit, shows some fight, does that build anything towards the rest of the season?”
“I talked to some players afterwards and they were really fired up about what that sideline was like in the 4th quarter. This is a ranked team in your house and you’ve got them on their heels and you cut their lead to three. It’s something you can build on, they’re just running out of games. You’ve got Wisconsin coming in next week. The hope then is those games that follow, Purdue, Rutgers, Northwestern, that they can then take what they learned in this game and apply it to an inferior opponent because they’re just running out of time.”