So were still doing lists. But after a week of no writing, this is the best way to get back into it. Pro Football Focus ranked the Offensive lines in the Big 10, and honestly, I’m surprised, you’ll know when I get there.
- Ohio State
- Penn State
Ok, I only wrote this to talk about Illinois, because I am honestly surprised by this young unit. Illinois has one upperclassman in the line up, Nick Allegretti, who will be seen on NFL lineups when he decides to make the jump. Illinois has allowed 1 fewer sacks a game and maintains a top 20 rushing attack. Illinois rushing attack is averaging 5.15 yards a carry and is only getting better, rushing for 5.4 yards a carry against Penn State, a playoff hopeful team. Other than Allegretti, Illinois starts 3 sophomores and 1 redshirt freshman.
The fact that the Illinois offensive line is competitive is what we need. Yes we gave up 42 unanswered points against Penn State in the last 24 minutes of the game, but we were competitive for the first 36. I could even argue that we were competitive for the first 45 minutes of the game. Illinois was able to dig deep and comeback from a 21-7 deficit to be down by only 4 points at the start of the 4th quarter.
A lot of that Penn State game has to do with Illinois’ defense, nee Lovie Smith’s defense, and its bend and don’t break mentality. There is no way we fold against teams like Nebraksa, Minnesota and Rutgers. Winning 3 games this year was rough before Week 1 and a lot of that had to do with a suspect offensive line. But I can say that is no longer a concern. This offensive line is good and shouldn’t concern fans for the rest of the season.