Illini drop 2 in a row at home but..

Well, we can talk about questionable or downright bad calls.

But we cannot dismiss how badly Purdue outplayed the Illini. Yes, it ended 31-24 when the Illini kicked a field goal with 22 seconds to go to pull within one score (a good call; down by 10, we need the FG anyway so may as well get it)

Anyway, to the game.

It was COLD.

Fortunately, my buddy Tom showed up and, well, a “slightly rubenesque” (and attractive) Purdue fan showed up and she sat to my right for most of the game, so I had some wind protection (and Purdue fans to talk to)

This was the coldest Illini game I remember. It was only in the mid 30’s, but there was a strong wind, so it felt colder than some Bears games did. I felt good, except for my feet; should have worn boots.

We were fortunate; there were a LOT of no-shows (announced attendance was 45K, but there were far fewer at the game) Technically, I am in this photo, off to the left.

So, how did the game go down?

Purdue got the ball and drove into the wind; turned it over on downs at the Illini 25. It was too windy to have a reliable FG attempt.

The Illini promptly marched it 75 yards for a touchdown, looking sharp. I was feeling good.

Purdue drove it again, got close again, but missed a field goal. Then the Purdue defense started to stiffen just a bit. Purdue threw an interception, but then the Illini had to punt, and finally, given a short field (the Illini let a Purdue punt roll)..Purdue drove it in to tie.

The Illini responded with a beautiful 10 play drive to score, then forced a Purdue punt..but then went 3 and out themselves, but they gave themselves 3 minutes to work with.

Then came the aformetioned questionable PI call..followed by the game tying touchdown pass and..that is where the “here we go again” feeling came back.

The Boilers gained momentum in the second half; forced a punt, then got another touchdown drive..90 yards! This was the key play…set up a spectacular pass to the tight end (we’ve had trouble with that; the Iowa tight end hurt us too)

Still, the Illini did fold; the offense got ANOTHER nice, long drive to tie the game again…so going into the 4’th quarter, it was all even at 21.

I still felt ok; though I worried our defense could not stop them.

And of course, we couldn’t. A long drive with a pass to the right end who drug our DB over the goal line gave Purdue the final touchdown of the day.

The Illini could go nowhere and though the D forced 2 Purdue punts, an interception with 3:4x left allowed Purdue to make Illinois use their time outs and gain just enough yards to kick a FG into the wind to go up 31-21 with 1:05 to play.

A last gasp Illinois drive lead to an Illinois FG with 22 second to play, but an onside kick failed.


Of course, I did my own workout before the game: PT followed by a 5K walk where I got gassed in the final mile; blood donation yesterday.

Did a second exercise walk on campus (carrying a bag full of gear) trying to be mindful to not get too sweaty. The weather WAS pleasant for walking.

Other remarks: didn’t see Illinois State get smacked at South Dakota State (not a surprise).

Navy: bless them; down 35-13 at the half in Baltimore to ND, rallied to cut it to 35-32 but didn’t get the final onside kick. ND was coming off of a big win vs Clemson.

Texas: I openly wondered why UT was favored over TCU, and the more I watched the game (a defensive slug fest at first), I wondered some more. It finished 17-10, but that was because TCU fumbled a read option hand off (no defensive pressure causing it) and UT got a scoop and score. It really wasn’t that close of a game.

Kicking off October with a race and football

AM: only exercise was a race: it was to be enough today. it was a campus 5K and I was to power walk it (right support leg was slightly bent which would be a race walk violation)

1 mile warm up (16 minute) after all of my PT and I stretched my shins.

5K in 33:31. (10:42 mpm) It was not one of my faster walks (of all time) but it was my fastest walk in several years and uncomfortably close to some of my 2018-2019 “runs”.

Then a 1 mile cool down.

I did resort to some “street walking” early in mile 3 as I sped up in mile 2, trying to catch some slower runners. That was a mistake; I am not used to pushing myself like that. But as I walk more, I’ll get better.

Glute: felt is slightly in the evening after sitting for a long time.

I was good to see Mike again; I remember him from a race in 1997 when I chased him and Danny (and someone else) during the Crime Stoppers 5K.

It was a perfect day for walking.


I watched most of Illinois 34-10 destruction of Wisconsin; the game did not start well with Wisconsin taking advantage of the Illini’s stacked defense and passing very well. It was 7-0 early and 10-7. But two Wisconsin interceptions set the Illini up with short fields and gave them a 14-10 lead.

At this point, it appeared that the Illini were taking over and dominating. Second half: drive to put it 21-10 and then:

That lead to a field goal; then on the next drive, the Illini star running back broke a 49 yard touchdown run (after being bottled up for most of the game)

and it was 31-10; 34-10 final.

It as if the teams had reversed their traditional roles; the Illini were the disciplined team and the Badgers were just sloppy: multiple penalties, fumbles, interceptions, etc.

I see the Illini, along with the Boilermakers (who beat Minnesota) and the Gophers (especially if they get their star running back back) as the top 3 contenders for the Big Ten West….though all teams are 1-1…whoops ..Badgers are 0-2. I am scouting out Illinois vs Northwestern tickets..might go to that game.

Late I switched to Navy vs Air Force and while the Mids tied it at 10 in the 4’th, the Falcons made that key drive to kick a field goal to win 13-10. Mids are looking better than the they did in the beginning of the season, but could improve some more.

Later: I went to a very entertaining Southern Illinois vs Illinois State game.

Early on: all Salukis. ISU had to answer to their short (and long) passing game, and aside from a missed and blocked extra point, it was domination: 19-0 at the half.

But then in the short third quarter, ISU found short passing game of their own and the second half was a mirror image of the first: 19-7 after 3, then 19-14 early in the 4’th. But then on ISU’s final drive (using tempo), there was a critical “no call” on PI in the end zone…then ISU failed on 4’th down.

There was 1:35 left in the game and ISU had 3 time outs. But the Salukis made a first down to seal the win.

Some sights:

Catch up (all over the place)

Sports (spectator)

No live football this weekend but a couple of Chiefs games on tap. Ok, I saw one last night; the Timberrattlers pitching kept the Chiefs at bay and allowed no hits through 7 innings; the Chiefs got 2 in the 8’th and even loaded the bases, but could only get one run. Still it was 2-1 going into the 9’th when the visitors got 2 more and won 4-1.

But there was at least a little bit of excitement. And it was fun to have the wife along.

TV football: I missed Illinois State getting run over by Wisconsin 38-0; I didn’t miss Navy getting outplayed by Delaware and losing 14-7. First 3 plays told the story: play one, Navy fumbled it to Delaware. Play 2: pass interference on Navy (obvious call). Play 3: Blue Hen touchdown.

I also watched Illinois lose to Indiana 23-20. The Illini were hurt by a bad call on a pass in the end zone

but still lead 20-16 with 2 minutes to go and the Hoosiers 75 yards away with no time outs. But the defense, which had switched to more blitzing to stop Indiana’s passing, played soft and allowed a march down the field.

Time and time again, the Illini made bad decisions and mistakes. Here, they passed on a field goal and went for it on 4’th down..leading by 1.

The positives is that the running game and short passing game looked decent for most of the night, and Virginia, the next opponent, gave up 170 rushing yards to FCS Richmond. But the problem will be Virginia’s passing: we don’t defend the pass well…not without blitzing. I still think this match up favors Illinois and I expect a hard fought win.


Saturday: PT, walk 1 (hard 5K), weights. Then a slow second walk after watching a football game on TV.

The first one tired me out a bit; I went pretty hard.

Pull ups: 12 sets of 5 with either 30 seconds rest or PT rest, push ups: 3 sets of 30 incline, 10 flat

bench press: I found that I still had back issues with my feet on plates; legs up is the best:

5 x 156, 4 x 156, 10 x 134, 10 x 134
curls 3 sets of 10

high incline: 3 sets of 10 x 94

Then came the 2 mile walk (after watching TV); first 1.5 was very pleasant ..some issues in the final 0.5

Today still some stuff with the back; I have to remember to NOT arch when I roll.

Went out for a walk intending 1-2 but felt good enough to do a slowish 5K; some issues in the final 0.5 miles or so.

Note: my Garmin recorded my watch stops to cross roads; those amounted to about 30 seconds or a 10 seconds per mile faster pace, but it does not matter.

After that, shoulder PT and deadlifts:

low: 10 x 134, 10 x 184
backed off the heavier sets: 10 x 234 4 inch

10 x 260 8 inch (easy)

My back won’t allow for true strength training; I am working to keep tone in my glutes and legs.

Back: sometimes I get the radiating pain on my back when I roll, and I think it is because I am used to arching my back when I roll.
I need to work on that, and I need to figure out a nice posture for my downhill walking. Flat walking and uphill walking is progressing nicely.

Back from Notre Dame vs Navy

And my only regret..besides Navy not winning, is that I didn’t get to watch Illinois beat Minnesota 14-6. The Illini are no longer a joke; if you under-estimate them you could be in trouble, even if you are a good team.

But..Illinois is not at a level to handle the opponent’s A game…not yet.

Yesterday: left about 7:30, which was somewhat too early, but not a LOT too early. Parked at the White Field (cheap Stub-hub parking pass); got a deal on “preferred seating” via Stubhub too.

The drive, with brief stops, is 4 hour-ish each way.

Ok, the game: ND won as expected 34-6, though Navy lead 3-0 after one, it was tied at 3 until 3 minutes to go in the first half and also had a long, time consuming drive in the 3’rd to cut the lead to 17-6.

But ultimately, ND was too much.

Ultimately, it was a great experience, except for the score.

Note: what really struck me was how full the place was 30 minutes to kickoff. At Illinois, the game itself isn’t that full; 30 minutes to kick off it is quite empty.

Last shot: teams stood with each other for each other’s song. Class act.

Illini revert to form: lose to Rutgers 20-14

Ok, this was a Big Ten game where two evenly matched team played hard..and reasonably well; no turnovers, few penalties.

So, from this fan’s perspective, the game was fun to the final result.

But as far as the game went: Rutgers outplayed us for most of the game. The Illini did tie the the game 7-7 off a nice touchdown pass; best of the season:

Rutgers took the lead 10-7 after a drive but the Illini countered with a drive followed by a very nice ..touchdown pass to the tight end..

And so it was 14-10 Illini at the half. I told my buddy that I had no idea as to who would win the football game.

Defenses ruled in the 3’rd quarter (Rutgers missed a field goal into the wind) and in the 4’th, Rutgers excellent punting paid off. The Illini were pinned deep. Rutgers ran some nifty quarterback keeps and hit some passes to take a 17-14 lead and another running dominated drive ended in a short field goal; it was 20-14 with just over 3 minutes to play.

The Illini managed to rally but the running plays consumed time…and it was just over 1:3x to go with 3’rd down and 2. An up the middle run gained 1.5 yards. But on 4’th down, a toss sweep was stuffed in the backfield and Rutgers took over, converted a 3’rd down on a spectacular quarterback keep and ran out the clock.

Navy 20 Tulsa 17

The night before, I caught this one on TV. And Navy came away with a hard fought 20-17 win over the Golden Hurricane…and had some huge plays.

  1. Navy made a 46 yard field goal.
  2. On this play, the Navy defensive back did not give up. He denied the Tulsa WR a touchdown..and it turns out Navy held Tulsa to a field goal on that possession.

Navy also got a lucky…ok, maybe “make your own luck” interception which denied Tulsa the touchdown

So, Navy played hard but had some luck.


Final shot: Rutgers field goal drive to seal the win.


A relatively good day.

What went right:
1. ok workout; 4 miles on the bike to warm up, rehab stretches, 6 more miles, stretches, then to the game; walk to and from the stadium was *almost* (Not quite) pain free. It was much better than the last two times.

2. Illinois won, based on 330+ rushing yards, though they trailed 14-10 at the half and were clinging to a 17-14 lead with 1 play left in the third period.

3. Navy came from 30-17 down to win 34-30 over a good UCF team. I was surprised by that.

Now, attendance was very light; 30,000 tickets were sold but maybe half of that was actually there?

Illinois game: first quarter was basically one possession by each team: Illini with a field goal, 49’ers with a touchdown.

Second quarter: it appeared that the Illini were going to take control up 10-7 but a fumble in scoring position wasted one opportunity. Then a long drive just before half put Charlotte up 14-10. Team was booed.

Second half a good drive put the Illini up 17-14 and then Charlotte appeared to be in position to tie or take the lead with a minute or so left in the quarter. But a tackle for a loss forced a 29 yard field goal attempt, which missed. Then next: 80 yard touchdown run.

That deflated Charlotte and the rest of the 4’th quarter was ball control by the Illini and some sacks of the 49’er quarterback.

Maybe I am not missing much

Obviously COVID 19 is a serious problem and my missing a season of live football, in the great scheme of things, is no big deal. It barely registers, at least on a personal level (though I understand those associated with spectator sports may be genuinely suffering; I don’t want to make light of that.)

But I stayed up late tonight to watch Illinois lose 45-7 to Wisconsin. Well..that certainly seems to be an expected result. …situation: the usual.

But, well, Navy is 3-0 in conference even with some very ugly non-conference losses (55-3 to BYU, 40-7 to Air Force) and Texas took it on the chin vs TCU and Oklahoma.

The Colts are 4-2 (gave the opener away) and the Bears are 5-1, with their loss being to…the Colts.

So I guess it isn’t all bad, for now.

Oh today? I kept making errors getting my key ready..but my students had no trouble with the HW.

Workout notes: weights.
pull ups: got a couple of sets of 10, a set of 15 singles a couple of 5’s and enough to get to 55 reps.

Bench: 10 x 132 then sets (with pause) of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 with 181, 176, 171, 165, 159, 154 (I have a 20kg bar, 20 kg, 10 kg, 5 kg, 2.5, 1.25 kg plates which makes for some weird poundages)

shoulder press: seated dumbbell: 3 x 10 with 40’s (no support), 9 x 88 supported barbell.

rows: 4 sets of 10 x 134 trap bar

4:30 to do 65 push ups: 30, 20, 15


Navy 20, Kansas State 17, Liberty Bowl

This was quite the game. We got there early to walk around, and there was a great deal of energy and an announced crowd of 50,000 which LOOKED like an honest number.

The prelude: we got to see both teams leave their buses. Navy had fans waiting for them; Kansas State didn’t. But both teams had some big guys…and the spirit in the stadium was great. Fans were in a good mood.

I love bowl games for that..especially when both fan bases are well represented.

The game: on the first possession, Kansas State moved it a bit but blew two potential touchdown passes; one ball was under-thrown and one potential td pass was dropped.
Navy got it and drove it for a field goal.

The teams then exchanged punts in which case Kansas State returned its punt for a touchdown; a spectacular run.
Navy got it back with a long drive. Kansas state answered with a field goal drive and it was 10-10 going in.

Navy got a nice drive to go up 17-10 but then K State got a big return. But on a 4’th and 1, they made it but got a dead ball unsportsmanlike. That was key because a sack and a fumble drove them way back.

Navy appeared to take control but missed a field goal after a long drive from its 10.

Kansas State tied it with a drive based on a long pass and it was tied with just over 5 minutes to go.
No problem for Navy; a drive burned clock and got it to about midfield. But with 30 seconds to go, Navy ran an halfback option pass off of a sweep on 4’th down that got the ball down to the 5 with 20 seconds to go. Navy clocked the ball and kicked a field goal with 2 seconds left in the game; K State’s desperation pass failed.

What a game! The stats were lopsided for Navy, but K State got a lot of return yards to even it up.
Total yards were 420 to 170 (deceptive due to the return yards) Navy had 323 yards on the ground with the quarterback getting 213.

Before the game

Game action: