Illinois Fighting Illini Thread
**2012 Season Update**
9/1/12 Illinois vs Western Michigan
9/8/12 Illinois @ Arizona St
9/15/12 Illinois vs Charleston Southern
9/22/12 Illinois vs Louisiana Tech
9/29/12 Illinois vs Penn St
10/6/12 Illinois @ Wisconsin
10/13/12 Illinois @ Michigan
10/20/12 -Bye Week-
10/27/12 Illinois vs Indiana
11/3/12 Illinois @ Ohio St
11/10/12 Illinois vs Minnesota
11/17/12 Illinois vs Purdue
11/24/12 Illinois @ Northwestern
2012 Key Returnees (class reflects class at the start of next season)
Offense: OC Graham Pocic (RS Sr)- Pocic should be the anchor for the OL once again and have a shot at the Rimington Trophy IMO.
Defense: LB Jonathan Brown (JR)- 108 Tackles, 19.5 Tackles for Loss, 6 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 1 FF. It is safe to say that Brown is a ****ing stud. IMO he was the best player on the team last season. That is saying a lot with how good Whitney was.
Offense: RB Dami Ayoola- Out of national powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, Ayoola is expected to be a contributor right away at RB. He is our Jason Ford replacement IMO.
Defense: S/OLB TaJarvis Fuller- He enrolled early and will be on the field for Spring Practice and the Spring Game. He is looked at as a playmaker with great instincts.
2012's Top 3 Storylines
1. Who's the QB?
Beckman wants to run the spread. He and Gonzalez both have ties to Urban Meyer. But, Meyer won a championship with Chris Leak at the helm and he wasn't an option QB. Riley is clearly the better passer. Nate is the better athlete. I expect an open competition and Nate to end up going to WR with Riley starting at QB. Nate will end up in Eddie McGee's role IMO.
2. Can the Defense keep it up?
This unit was absolutely amazing under Coach Vic; top 10 in the country and churning out NFL talent. I've liked what I've read about Tim Banks. Buchanan has to adequately take over for Whitney. Spence has to continue to improve. Brown needs to keep being a crazy SoB. But, maybe most importantly we need to find two starting caliber Safeties.
3. Where are the playmakers on O?
AJ Jenkins is gone. Next year I am expecting a number of players to step up. If Donovonn Young can solve the fumbling problems he will be full on beast mode. Ferguson looked like lightning in a bottle. Millines needs to stay on the field and he will adequately replace Jenkins IMO. The two I expect the most out of are Young and Jon Davis. They are future NFL studs IMO.