SOC - Iowa

Nov 18, 2023

This will be an interesting SOC. I'm in St. Louis tonight. Tyler covered the basketball game and my wife and I headed to St. Louis for a friend's 50th birthday party. First thing in the morning, I'm headed to Iowa City. Very glad this one is 2:30 and not 11:00 am.

At the house for the birthday party there was a dog. I am apparently quite allergic to that dog. About 20 minutes in, my throat was itchy, my eyes were watering, so I headed directly to my allergy medication (Xyzal) without passing go or collecting $200. Xyzal works the best for me, but there's one drawback. About three hours after taking it, I'm suddenly so, so tired. I believe Xyzal could cure anyone's insomnia. I won't even drive once it hits.

It has hit. I've written about writing SOC's while falling asleep at the keyboard before, but this is different. The Xyzal has HIT me hit me. I just got up to walk around the room and drink some water in an attempt to wake myself up. I'm not sure I'll even get through this. I feel drugged (because I drugged myself).

Right to it. My main thought this week has been about the quarterback thing. And my main thought there: I don't like the discussion. I don't want to think about it. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to have an opinion about it. I get that the quarterback debate is the foundation of football fandom, but in this speciic situation, I don't want to talk about it. It just devolves into a "where do you stand?" discussion, and I don't have a stance. I want my team to win, and I don't know which quarterback will help the team win against this defense, so I'll just trust that the coaches make the right decision.

You'll never believe this but I fell asleep while writing that paragraph. Asleep asleep. It's 15 minutes later now and the Xyzal has taken over my entire consciousness. I don't think I'll be able to write even five more paragraphs. One more walk around the room and one more glass of water.

Fun fact about falling asleep right there. I fell asleep in the chair, at the desk, with my hand propping up my head (with my elbow on the desk). I woke up because my head slipped off my hand. And when I did that, I bit my cheek. So now that I'm awake again, maybe the secret to staying awake when your body wants to go to sleep is to bite your cheek?

Where was I? Yes, the QB "controversy." I just don't like thinking about it like that. I want to win this game, and as much as I love the Paddock story, I'm still open to the fact that Altmyer might give us the best chance to win.

I think about it in terms of analysts. Every college football program has countless analysts now. And some of those analysts are tasked with figuring out the best way to attack the Iowa defense. They've spent countless hours looking at this (and reviewing our own practice film) to figure out the very best way to go about this.

There's no way I could then just stroll in and say "I think Altmyer give us the best chance to win tomorrow" because the analysts and other support staff (and coaches) have studied all of this for hours and hours. They're the ones at practice every day. They're the ones who know what mistakes Paddock might make or Altmyer might make. While you're at work, that's all those analysts (and coaches) are doing. They'll make the right call.

As for the rest of the game, I don't feel good about it. I think Iowa's offense is starting to figure a few things out. Our defense just gave up yard after yard to Indiana. So I feel like Iowa can control the pace and style of this game.

I've been trying to talk myself into tomorrow being The Turnover Game all week. We still haven't had The Turnover Game yet (where every deflected pass and fumble bounces our way). Is tomorrow that game? There's only two games left, so one of them will be The Turnover Game. Is it this week or next week?

I think it's next week. Which means that I think this game is the "Iowa's defense and punter controls every facet of the game" game. I need to just get to this prediction before I fall asleep again.

I want to believe we can win and lock up a bowl. I want to believe that Iowa hasn't seen a passing offense like ours all season and that we can throw all over them. Been trying and trying and trying to convince myself that this is a surprise win. But I just can't get there.

Iowa 26, Illinois 13


ditkanate on November 18, 2023 @ 08:51 AM

Yeah, I am in the same boat. Want to win more than anything, but just can't see it. Iowa is the yards and points and yards and points example to beat all examples. We could outgain them by 200 yards and still lose handily. Iowa's entire success is built on don't make mistakes and capitalize on the other team's mistakes. This Illinois team is a mistake MACHINE. Unless we somehow put up our first mistake free game of the year.... I just don't see it. GOD I HOPE I'M WRONG.

LongLiveTheChief98 on November 18, 2023 @ 09:25 AM

This is where I'm at as well. Until I see it, this Illinois team is just too penalty-ridden to win a game like this. I can see Paddock having a come-back-to-Earth game against this crazy good Iowa defense, their offense played really well last week against a good Rutgers team and looks to be figuring things out (while ours took major steps backwards against Indiana), Feagin being out is an enormous loss to keep us in 3rd and manageable situations, and if Altmyer does play he'd have to have shake off some rust having been out for two weeks. Unless Bielema has some creative wrinkles, our lines play lights out, we control the clock and field position battle, and play 100% mistake-free, I just don't see it happening today.

But MAN would I love to be wrong as I really don't want to go into the Northwestern finale needing a win (against a team that may be in the exact same position).

LongLiveTheChief98 on November 18, 2023 @ 09:27 AM

*while our DEFENSE took major steps backwards... (edit not working)

IlliniJoe81 on November 18, 2023 @ 08:54 AM

These are more like SOUs. Maybe try to write before you fall asleep. You might be able to predict better then.

RonSwanson on November 18, 2023 @ 09:51 AM

I'm concerned the BIG will want a 10-2 Iowa team in the title game for tv ratings. Why? Refs called zero penalties last week v Rutgers. It's literally impossible to not commit one penalty in a game when you could call holding on most plays.

RonSwanson on November 18, 2023 @ 09:54 AM

I am also concerned this whole QB saga has become a distraction. Still hopeful we play our best game of the season and leave with a W.

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