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    Illinois runs out of energy in 2nd Half

    Updated: September 7th, 2010
  • CollegeFootballBreakdown.com

    St Louis–As predicted by CollegeFootballBreakdown.com, Illinois came ready to play in the border war against Missouri on a neutral site.  It was obvious that Missouri was startled by the energy of Illinois early and it took some time for the 12 point favorite Tigers to gain their momentum.  Redshirt Freshman QB Nathan Scheelhaase used his quickness and short passing ability to keep Missouri off balance while producing a 13-3 half time lead for Illinois.  In the second half, Missouri woke up and realized that they were in a game and had to play.  Missouri outscored Illinois 20-0, outgained them 242 to 85, and held Ron Zook’s team to only 4 first downs in the second half as Aldon Smith and company got after Scheelhaase.  After a slow start, Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert finished 34 of 48 for 281 yards.  The final score was Missouri 23, Illinois 13.

    Although the second half produced more information regarding the abilities of both teams than the first, considering that Illinois was missing 2 starters in the secondary, it is clear that the team will be more competitive this year as compared to last.  However, with an inexperienced and small in stature QB, until the offensive line improves, I expect Illinois to struggle to put points on the board. 

    Key Points

    Illinois: Scheelhaase is quick and elusive, but does not possess the arm strength and understanding of defenses to be productive in the passing game for Illinois.  That means that the offensive line must be twice as good to open up holes for Scheelhaase and talented RB Leshoure.  The defensive line led by DE Clay Nurse played well and was able to put pressure on Gabbert for most of the night.  Although, 48 pass attempts was enough to tire the line and slow the Illinois pass rush down in the second half. 

    Missouri: QB Gabbert is extremely accurate.  It did appear that they miss the field stretching ability of departed WR Danario Alexander.  On defense, DE Aldon Smith is a freak athlete and will be tough on opposing offenses all year. 

    CollegeFootballBreakdown.com-Big Ten Analyst-John Jacobson

  • JJBeatz

    JJBeatz

    John "JJBeatz" Jacobson is a handicapping analyst who covers the Big Ten, Sun Belt, MAC, Big East, Big 12 and Conference USA for www.collegefootballbreakdown.com. His nickname, "JJBeatz" was given to him by colleagues on Wall Street for his ability to make them money betting college football. JJBeatz is short for JJ beats the spread.

    John's passion for the sport of college football began when he played his first parlay card in elementary school. His fascination with making informative predictions allowed for a smooth transition into equity analysis and trading on Wall Street. As John often says, "Similar skills, such as money management, an analytical mind, hard work, an attention to detail, and perseverance, are needed in both trading and sports betting." JJ continues to work on his craft and loves to make people money.

    E-mail JJBeatz: jjbeatz@collegefootballbreakdown.com.

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