It was an interesting trip with Harry: about 3 hours each way. Got there way too early. Had time to eat, lounge around and see the game.
What surprised me is how residential it is around Ryan Field. The stadium is antiquated (more so than the East side of Memorial). Most of the sightlines are ok though there are some sections I’d say away from.
They do rent chairbacks for 10 dollars (cash only); highly recommend them for people with older or achy backs.
Ah, the game itself: check out the stats. While the Illini did have success on the ground, with the no. 2 back doing most of the damage, the offense didn’t do *all* that much.
Yep, it was the turnovers. Northwestern repeatedly clowned themselves with bad throws that where intercepted (one pick-6, one almost pick-6) a botched hand off that the quarterback flipped over his head that was returned for a touchdown, etc.
The scrimmage line play was not as one sided as the score would indicate.
The game started off with an exchange of punts; then the Illini got a decent drive, mostly off of running to take a 7-0 lead. NW got a good drive, but then through a dreadful pass which set up an Illinois field goal.
The defenses took over again until the Illini mounted a decent 2 minute drive to take a 17-0 lead at the half.
The Illini got a field goal to take a 20-0 3’rd quarter lead,when on consecutive drives: the NW quarterback botched a hand off, flipped the ball over his head which was returned for a touchdown.
Then another drive, another interception, pick-6. By then it was 34-0 and all that remained was for the Illini to try to pad the stats of their no. 1 running back (didn’t happen, though he did get a touchdown and literally limped into the end zone..he was playing with an injury), and a face saving field goal.
Overall: decent trip; I do wonder about the historic stadium. The facilities are lacking (our restroom had one urinal and one toilet) though the sightlines were ok; had a good view of the game. It is probably time to tear it down and rebuild, as they are planning.
Some sights: “Do the math” (has to be Northwestern!)
I’d say “50 percent” Illinois fans
Lakeview of where we stopped to eat
The large Bahai temple
Harry and me: balcony, just under the basically empty “club seating” that they have.