Sunday No Huddle (9/22/19)

Sports

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — There were plenty of questions after the Illini lost to Nebraska on Saturday night. Bret Beherns and Jeremy Werner discuss some of them in the Sunday No Huddle.

Nebraska totaled 690 yards on the night, compared to just 299 for the Illini. But those numbers don’t mean anything to Illinois.

“I don’t mind that. I mean, you want to hold them to as least amount of yards as you can but ultimately it comes down the W and we didn’t get that today,” Tony Adams said.

“I think we have a chance now to win and in years past I don’t think we’ve had a chance but we have a chance now. Absolutely we do,” Lovie Smith said. “We’re a better football team. Tonight it didn’t turn out that way, there’s a lot of factors that lead to that and maybe it’s just a real good offensive team. But we are definitely a better defensive football team than we’ve been.”

BRET BEHERNS:
“It’s Sunday No Huddle with Jeremy Werner from Illini Inquirer.com. You force four turnovers and you feel like you’ve got a pretty good chance to win the game but you give up 690 yards, that makes it pretty tough.”

JEREMY WERNER:
“The defense was the reason they should have won this game and the defense was the reason they lost this game. Four takeaways set up the offense for three easy scoring drives but apparently Hardy Nickerson wasn’t the problem. This team’s defense is not good enough and Lovie Smith needs to find some answers because he hasn’t had any the last two years.”

BRET BEHERNS:
“What has to be changed here for this to work?”

JEREMY WERNER:
“Your time for wholesale changes was the offseason and he decides to keep himself cause he believes in this defense but how can you not question if this is the right defense? Can you change that all in a week and a half in practice? I don’t think so. This is what you have, this is what they’ve learned for three years now. They’re three years in this system, four years for some of these guys and it’s the same result over and over again. Lovie is riding with himself and it’s led to back-to-back losses in Eastern Michigan and Nebraska by a total of seven points. Boy a lot could have changed if they had made one or two more plays.”

BRET BEHERNS:
“So if you can’t stop anybody you might as well score with them and they did that by in large putting up almost 40 points. They’re averaging 35 points a game this season, which is great, but the passing game continues to struggle. You mentioned Brandon had a bad game, how do they correct that? Cause the rushing game has been there.”

JEREMY WERNER:
“I would have ran more. I think this rushing offense, Rod’s gotten away from it a little bit and I think he’d even tell you that but at some point, Brandon is going to have to make more plays and if he doesn’t, you turn to somebody else but this is a chance they had and they only had 78 passing yards. At some point your quarterback just has to make a play.”

BRET BEHERNS:
“They’ve got more than a week now to stew on it, they don’t play again for a couple of weeks at Minnesota the next game and another chance. On paper, you’d think a winnable team. Jeremy Werner from Illini Inquirer.com, thanks so much.”

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