Illinois Football: Pessimistic View at the Rest of the 2016 Season

All Illinois football fans know how stressful the season has been so far.  That loss to Western Michigan didn’t get spirits up by any means.

Well, those same Illinois Fighting Illini fans get to watch this team compete in nine more, yes nine more, games in 2016.

I am going to do an optimistic view and a pessimistic view of the Illinois season.  But, the pessimistic view comes first because I want to get it over with.

So, here is the pessimistic view on the Illinois football season the rest of the way out.

Illinois is already 1-2 on the season with their only win coming against an FCS team.  The two losses weren’t in good fashion either.

That loss to Western Michigan was ugly.  Quarterback Wes Lunt clearly is overwhelmed by big boy football and can’t handle the leadership role.

This doesn’t bode well for the Illinois football team the rest of the way out.

Illinois is currently on a bye week which means that gives the media and fans an extra week to criticize what Lovie Smith and the coaching staff is doing with this team.

The week off also gives people the chance to absolutely bash on the players as well.  This will create team angst and divide among players.

The Illini then head to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska is a good team this year and is now ranked No. 20 in the nation.  Illinois can’t stop Tommy Armstrong Jr. and they get torched the entire game by his arm and legs.

The defense crumbles due to them being on the field because the offense can’t stay on the field.  This game ends with a blowout loss 48-10.  Illinois is now 1-3.

Purdue is next on the docket for the Illini.  This Purdue team is really bad but since the Illini are in a tailspin the Boilermakers have a chance.

Illinois tries to lose this game with every fiber of their being, but they still end up winning because Purdue is just that bad.  This win moves Illinois to 2-3 on the year.

The Illini then travel to Rutgers.  This Scarlet Knights team is okay.  They just beat New Mexico last week who has a decent running back.

Rutgers plays well because of their ground game.  Robert Martin goes off for over 150 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground in a 28-14 win over the Illini.  This loss now moves Illinois to 2-4.

Illinois then travels to No. 4 Michigan.  This game is ugly from the start and Illinois just doesn’t have the players to compete with the Wolverines.

Michigan just trounces the Illini 52-7.  Illinois is now 2-5.

Minnesota is the next opponent and they come to Champaign.  This is a game the Illini compete in, but like the running backs Illinois has faced this season, Rodney Smith tears up Illinois.

Smith goes for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns in a disappointing loss to Minnesota 35-24.  Illinois is now 2-6 on the season.

No. 8 Michigan State then comes to Champaign in what is an ugly game at home.  The Spartans defense just shuts down the Illinois offense.

Illinois can’t manage to get their offense off the ground and they fall to Michigan State 38-0.  Illinois is now 2-7.

The Illini then travel to No. 11 Wisconsin which is an awful game.  Illinois doesn’t compete because of the ground game of Corey Clement for the Badgers.

Clement goes for over 200 yards on the ground as Wisconsin wins 42-17.  Illinois drops to 2-8 for the season.

Illinois then has Iowa and Northwestern to finish off the 2016 season.

The Illini have the Hawkeyes at home and the Iowa defense just shuts down the Illinois offense.

Lunt can’t get anything going through the air and the Illini have three turnovers in the game.  Iowa takes advantage of the turnovers and wins the game 28-17.  Illinois moves to 2-9 on the season.

Finally, Northwestern kills Illinois in the last game of the season with Justin Jackson at running back.

Jackson goes for 187 yards and 3 touchdowns and the Wildcats win 38-17.

Illinois went downhill fast with this pessimistic view of how the season could unfold.  They finished 2-10 on the season and much scrutiny followed.

Reminder, this is a pessimistic view of what could happen with the Illini.  It is worst case scenario for the Illinois football team.

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