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Is Illinois a must win game?

TFrazier

Scout Team
10 Year Member
Until Nebraska starts winning a few more games, pretty much every game is “must win”.

tenor.gif
 

Captkenny

Junior Varsity
10 Year Member
Yes.

Can't imagine much worse than getting crushed at home by a lousy team who fired their coach . . . then getting beat by them again by a first-year coach when Frost is on his 4th year. The Huskers MUST get to a bowl. You need to beat IL to realistically have a shot at that with this schedule. Can't drop winnable games anymore.

The good news is, no matter what happens we won’t be beat at home in this game. (Unless the schedule posted on Huskermax is wrong)
 

Power of Corn

Scout Team
10 Year Member
Games 1-3 are all must win games. 2 games we will be heavy underdogs... OK, Oh St. the other 7 games prob wont be any more than 3-4 point spread, for either team..... meaning, they are all very winable games, we just have to execute and do as Bo Pelini suggests.... "If we can just fix us .....". If we do that, to a REASONABLE amount, we will win 4 of those games.

Reasonable = break even in turnovers, break even in penalties, break even in sp teams efficiency
 

CrabHusker

Shut up and color
5 Year Member
Year four, Covid or not, it's time to win the games you're supposed to win and Illinois is in that group. If we can't beat a team we routinely out recruit when they're in year one with a new coach...that's not a good look. At all.

Yes. This is a must win.

We can talk about offsetting a loss against Illinois with a win later in the season against Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin or Iowa, but the reality is an opening loss to the Illini likely means the crap is going to hit the fan and we're not going to have to worry about beating any of those teams and bowl eligibility will be a reach.

Just win.

Please.
 

HuskerSuperGenius

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
Year four, Covid or not, it's time to win the games you're supposed to win and Illinois is in that group. If we can't beat a team we routinely out recruit when they're in year one with a new coach...that's not a good look. At all.

Yes. This is a must win.

We can talk about offsetting a loss against Illinois with a win later in the season against Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin or Iowa, but the reality is an opening loss to the Illini likely means the crap is going to hit the fan and we're not going to have to worry about beating any of those teams and bowl eligibility will be a reach.

Just win.

Please.
Crab, you are a reliable poster, but this time I think that you and many on this thread are leading with your heart and not your head. Let's examine the data about the opening game with the Illni:
1. Last year they beat us 41-23 IN LINCOLN (no fans but still it was a home game for us!
They out rushed us, out yarded us by 100 yards (mostly on the ground and out time of possessionedj us by MORE THAN 10 minutes.
Can you say complete butt kicking :(.
2. They return 8 offensive starters including 4/5 O-linemen, there QB who damaged us greatly and Chase Brown who ran for 110 yards against us.
3. The have 7 returning defensive starters on a crappy defense, but this is where Bielema may make a difference changing from the 3-4 to the 4-3.
4. Then, a another problem: With a new coaching staff, they will be making changes for which we have no film, both on offense and defense.
5. You know we will give up a first drive TD to them, it's what we do. DONU can't seem to settle in on first possessions on defense, so with a veteran Illini offense you can almost count on them scoring on that first drive (see 2020).
6. The Huskers are as talented as we have been in at least 10 years but we are extremely inexperienced, especially on offense.
This means that the first game will see a lot of people going the wrong way, running the wrong routes, etc until at least mid second quarter.
It remains to be seen if we have "game breakers" at RB, WR, TE, that can take a play to the house and make up for small mistakes due to this inexperience.

Summation:
A> Illini game will be close, the game decided in 4th Quarter
B> DONU victory will depend on being +2 on turnovers, +50 yards on special teams play and the defense controlling the Illini offense, letting the Husker offense settle into a rhythm as the game progresses.

PS: This why the Fordham game is so critical. It will allow 75-80 plays on offense.
This will give the offense the game experience they need to be ready to play at a level of efficiency that will give them a chance use their talent in "winnable" games through the rest of the schedule :).
Tremendous move by AD Moos!
GBR
 

cthusker

You talken to me?
5 Year Member
Crab, you are a reliable poster, but this time I think that you and many on this thread are leading with your heart and not your head. Let's examine the data about the opening game with the Illni:
1. Last year they beat us 41-23 IN LINCOLN (no fans but still it was a home game for us!
They out rushed us, out yarded us by 100 yards (mostly on the ground and out time of possessionedj us by MORE THAN 10 minutes.
Can you say complete butt kicking :(.
2. They return 8 offensive starters including 4/5 O-linemen, there QB who damaged us greatly and Chase Brown who ran for 110 yards against us.
3. The have 7 returning defensive starters on a crappy defense, but this is where Bielema may make a difference changing from the 3-4 to the 4-3.
4. Then, a another problem: With a new coaching staff, they will be making changes for which we have no film, both on offense and defense.
5. You know we will give up a first drive TD to them, it's what we do. DONU can't seem to settle in on first possessions on defense, so with a veteran Illini offense you can almost count on them scoring on that first drive (see 2020).
6. The Huskers are as talented as we have been in at least 10 years but we are extremely inexperienced, especially on offense.
This means that the first game will see a lot of people going the wrong way, running the wrong routes, etc until at least mid second quarter.
It remains to be seen if we have "game breakers" at RB, WR, TE, that can take a play to the house and make up for small mistakes due to this inexperience.

Summation:
A> Illini game will be close, the game decided in 4th Quarter
B> DONU victory will depend on being +2 on turnovers, +50 yards on special teams play and the defense controlling the Illini offense, letting the Husker offense settle into a rhythm as the game progresses.

PS: This why the Fordham game is so critical. It will allow 75-80 plays on offense.
This will give the offense the game experience they need to be ready to play at a level of efficiency that will give them a chance use their talent in "winnable" games through the rest of the schedule :).
Tremendous move by AD Moos!
GBR
Nebraska had FIVE turnovers in that game which almost always spells DISASTER! We actually had FOUR fumbles but recovered 2 but still screwed up 4 drives. Game should have been razor close and most likely would have been without those turnovers. Just putting the game in perspective when looking at that final score. The 2nd half was 13-13 tie but we'd already gifted them 21 points!!

Obviously we need to play much much better if we want to best Il this season! Errors and penalties continue to plague Nebraska and it's way past due to start playing some good football.
 

TnHusker87

Mayor of Shinola
2 Year Member
Nebraska had FIVE turnovers in that game which almost always spells DISASTER! We actually had FOUR fumbles but recovered 2 but still screwed up 4 drives. Game should have been razor close and most likely would have been without those turnovers. Just putting the game in perspective when looking at that final score. The 2nd half was 13-13 tie but we'd already gifted them 21 points!!

Obviously we need to play much much better if we want to best Il this season! Errors and penalties continue to plague Nebraska and it's way past due to start playing some good football.
100% this ... five turnovers and special teams gaffes led to 33 Illini points.

Success will depend on what @HuskerSuperGenius said in his ‘summation B.’
 

NorthwoodHusker

Travel Squad
The odds dont look good for a minus 5 turnover game

All that overachieving has caught up to us
 
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HuskerSuperGenius

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
Nebraska had FIVE turnovers in that game which almost always spells DISASTER! We actually had FOUR fumbles but recovered 2 but still screwed up 4 drives. Game should have been razor close and most likely would have been without those turnovers. Just putting the game in perspective when looking at that final score. The 2nd half was 13-13 tie but we'd already gifted them 21 points!!

Obviously we need to play much much better if we want to best Il this season! Errors and penalties continue to plague Nebraska and it's way past due to start playing some good football.
Okay, make that #7 in my list :).

It still makes the point that Illinois is much tougher of an opener than many in this thread are giving it credit for.
Do I think DONU can win, yes, with the formula I put in my first post.
But a win is far from the "given, mark it in the book, let's start 3-0" that so many hear seem to expect.
Because its the opener for a very young, but talented Husker team, this may be the 4th toughest game on the schedule with only OU, OSU and at Wisky being harder.

PS: And given the fragile nature of the program, it is critical to get going early with a win as every one but Scott has said out loud, which only makes it tougher to win.

GBR
 
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NorthwoodHusker

Travel Squad
Okay, make that #7 in my list :).

It still makes the point that Illinois is much tougher of an opener than many in this thread are giving it credit for.
Do I think DONU can win, yes, with the formula I put in my first post.
But a win is far from the "given, mark it in the book, let's start 3-0" that so many hear seem to expect.
Because its the opener for a very young, but talented Husker team, this may be the 4th toughest game on the schedule with only OU, OSU and at Wisky being harder.

GBR
We are still young,not younger.
Other than a almost 5 star starting at left tackle,and a cb, whos really younger?
The wr is older and has more experience, the RB room almost as much, but much deeper.
 

CrabHusker

Shut up and color
5 Year Member
Crab, you are a reliable poster, but this time I think that you and many on this thread are leading with your heart and not your head. Let's examine the data about the opening game with the Illni:
1. Last year they beat us 41-23 IN LINCOLN (no fans but still it was a home game for us!
They out rushed us, out yarded us by 100 yards (mostly on the ground and out time of possessionedj us by MORE THAN 10 minutes.
Can you say complete butt kicking :(.
2. They return 8 offensive starters including 4/5 O-linemen, there QB who damaged us greatly and Chase Brown who ran for 110 yards against us.
3. The have 7 returning defensive starters on a crappy defense, but this is where Bielema may make a difference changing from the 3-4 to the 4-3.
4. Then, a another problem: With a new coaching staff, they will be making changes for which we have no film, both on offense and defense.
5. You know we will give up a first drive TD to them, it's what we do. DONU can't seem to settle in on first possessions on defense, so with a veteran Illini offense you can almost count on them scoring on that first drive (see 2020).
6. The Huskers are as talented as we have been in at least 10 years but we are extremely inexperienced, especially on offense.
This means that the first game will see a lot of people going the wrong way, running the wrong routes, etc until at least mid second quarter.
It remains to be seen if we have "game breakers" at RB, WR, TE, that can take a play to the house and make up for small mistakes due to this inexperience.

Summation:
A> Illini game will be close, the game decided in 4th Quarter
B> DONU victory will depend on being +2 on turnovers, +50 yards on special teams play and the defense controlling the Illini offense, letting the Husker offense settle into a rhythm as the game progresses.

PS: This why the Fordham game is so critical. It will allow 75-80 plays on offense.
This will give the offense the game experience they need to be ready to play at a level of efficiency that will give them a chance use their talent in "winnable" games through the rest of the schedule :).
Tremendous move by AD Moos!
GBR

I think I've been about as unemotional regarding the Huskers as is possible for the last several years. We're just not that good. I've been honest about that and owned it. Yes, we lost to Illinois last year in maybe the worst display of Husker football I've seen since the Okie State debacle in 2007. It was horrific. Nothing since then has been static.

What doesn't change, regardless of where someones emotions are in this regard is what happens if Nebraska drops this game to a first year staff. We've got a starting QB in his fourth year under center, most of our 2020 defense back intact and a staff in year four. How can we possibly lose to Illinois and it not be a big deal?

Am I saying the game is a 'Gimmie'? No. Nothing is a gimme for Nebraska until they start beating everyone they're supposed to, if that ever happens again. You can't lose this game and just shrug it off because they beat us last year. Lose this game and things get ugly. People will get ugly. This is by definition a must win game.

Just go win it.
 

HuskerWeatherman

Feral Cat
20 Year Member
Okay, make that #7 in my list :).

It still makes the point that Illinois is much tougher of an opener than many in this thread are giving it credit for.
Do I think DONU can win, yes, with the formula I put in my first post.
But a win is far from the "given, mark it in the book, let's start 3-0" that so many hear seem to expect.
Because its the opener for a very young, but talented Husker team, this may be the 4th toughest game on the schedule with only OU, OSU and at Wisky being harder.

PS: And given the fragile nature of the program, it is critical to get going early with a win as every one but Scott has said out loud, which only makes it tougher to win.

GBR

Illinois is only tough if we aren't any good.

Illinois had two wins last season -- an 18pt win over Nebraska and a 3-point win over Rutgers when they kicked a FG with 7 seconds left to prevent OT. They fired their coach because they sucked, but that coach did beat Nebraska. Illinois won 2 of Lovie Smith's final ten games in Champaign (late-2019 to 2020) -- and again, one of those was against NU.

Yes, if Nebraska is no better than a 3-4 win team in 2021, Illinois is going to be tough -- true. Otherwise, the talent advantage is far superior on the Nebraska sideline -- so if the coaching is adequate, it shouldn't be a nail biter.

I'm not saying we won't struggle with Illinois. But I am saying if we do, there will be reason for the Frost skeptics to make a lot of noise. And it would be quite hard to convince anyone we'll win enough games for a bowl game if we can't beat Illinois in the first game -- because there's going to be at least 7-8 teams we play that will be better than Illinois.
 
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