Who Carries The Mail Here?

Quick post on something I was wondering about this morning.  This won't address the defense, I won't pretend to have any ideas there.  So anyways, onward!

 

Minor

Brown

Forcier

Robinson

 

Att

Yards

Att

Yards

Att

Yards

Att

Yards

MSU

4

2

6

15

13

27

3

-9

Iowa

22

95

X

X

8

26

9

49

PSU

12

48

8

42

14

10

4

20

Totals

38

145

14

57

35

63

16

60

Avg

12.667

48.333

7

28.5

11.667

21

5.333

20

Furrowed brow inducing indeed... How about total carries thus far in the season?

 

Carries

Games Played

Minor

69

6

Brown

52

7

Forcier

72

8*

Robinson

51

8

So, um, two senior tailbacks (albeit dinged up senior tailbacks) have accounted for 121 touches on the ground thus far this season, while our two freshmen at quarterback have rung up 123 touches.  Wow.  I went into this thinking that the bulk of the carries had primarily shifted toward our QBs in our losses, but not really (MSU not withstanding): in our defeats Brown and Minor have combined for 52 carries while Foricer and Robinson have had 51.  Of course, one must also remember that sacks count as carries in our game here, so factor that in as well, but even with that, I mean... just wow.

Dinged up or not, Minor and Brown need to touch the football more in this offense.  I made a breif point about this in the game summary post on Sunday, but we need to pound the football.  Please note, I don't mean I-form off-tackle left "pound the football", I mean get back to actually running the read option and making defenses have to react to what we're doing type of football.  10 touches for Brown/Minor against MSU was criminally bad, 20 against Penn State was more misdemeanorly (English, they say, is a generative language).  What happened to the cool little pitch play we ran against Iowa? 

So, what's that mean for Illinois?  Well... Illinois ranks 101st in the nation in rushing defense, allowing more than 180 yards per game.  Total D? 104th   Scoring D? 84th.  Passing D?  78th.  So here's what I would do:

- GIVE BRANDON MINOR AND CARLOS BROWN THE FOOTBALL!!  I cannot believe I'm begging for this, but go watch Chris Perry's 51 carry game against MSU and then approximate it this week.  Hell I don't care if we run the football 80% of the time on Saturday, just do what we do well until someone manages to stop it, please.  The Illinois run defense is god-awful, we're on the road at night [errrr, or 3:30... my bad, thought this was a late game this whole week for some reason, -Ed] with two freshmen QBs who need some confidence boosting right now, put the workload on the O-line and the backs please.  I will be seriously disappointed if those two don't combine for 35 carries or more tomorrow night.

- If you're going to throw roll Forcier out almost every single time.  If Robinson is in, not "almost" but EVERY single time.  Go back to the Western and ND games and look at how we managed our passing game, go back to that.  Simplify things back to that level and put it in.  More bubble screens like what we saw last week wouldn't be a shabby idea either.  Simple reads, simple throws.

- Don't let the Illinois defense get free/easy stops.  If we force them to stay on the field for extended amounts of time we will bust some big plays on this team.  Hang on to the football.  We reverted back to the '08 vintage of giving the ball away against Penn State and Iowa, we cannot afford to do that, we're not good enough to do that.  Ball security lads, and no short fields for Illinois please.

And no, the nice juxtaposition of me post lasting week whether JoePa would throw "rock" and then me practically begging our staff to do that now is not lost on me.  Oh and reminder from who else?  Wolverine Historian:


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