SOC - Iowa
This SOC will be.. interesting. I'm so mentally exhausted right now. When I say they're a Stream Of Consciousness, that's exactly what they are - a livestream of my brain. And right now, my brain is completely, 100% spent. I'll just start writing and see where this goes.
The reason I'm spent - a funeral today. I mentioned last week that my wife's brother passed away. We buried him today. He was in the Marines for years so he was buried with full military honors. (Which is part of the reason for the delay between his death and burial - aligning a time with a national cemetery).
If you've never been to a full military funeral, well, I hope you never have to attend one and also hope you get the honor of attending one. The 21 gun salute, the folding of the flag, the Patriot Guard escorting the procession - it meant so much to my wife that her brother was treated with such honor. My father-in-law wanted my wife to receive the flag (her brother was not married and had no children), and I have to tell you, the moment the Marine hands her the flag and recites the "on behalf of a grateful nation" speech was so incredibly powerful. For some reason, I thought this ceremony was only for soldiers killed in action but learned today that it's for everyone. It meant so, so much to my wife.
I feel so disconnected from everything as I write this. The family came to our house after the ceremony and the last people left not too long ago. It was a great, impossible day, and the process of the visitation last night and the funeral and the procession to the cemetery followed by everyone visiting this afternoon and evening leaves you completely and totally spent. If I didn't have this long tradition of writing this post every single gameday eve since 2009 I'd probably skip this. But I'm nothing if not committed to traditions, so here goes.
Aaand I just lost everything I typed. There's one way to do that - hit this button and then that one and you lose everything you typed and it reverts back to the first saved draft (which are the words above). So.... my fried brain really doesn't have the capacity to re-type those 600 words. Sorry this SOC absolutely sucks. I'll try to sum up everything I just wrote.
- I'm OK with the change to Jeff George Jr. and am interested in what he can do to spark this offense. 1,070 yards of offense in four games is really bad - we have to find something that works.
- Nebraska's QB came in throwing three picks per game and I felt like he'd throw zero against us. Iowa's QB comes in having thrown one interception in four games so I now feel like he's going to throw two or three tomorrow.
- This one feels right on the spread line to me (Illinois +16). Not sure why. I think we play better than last week and I think Iowa sleepwalks for a while. I see some turnovers while they're sleepwalking.
- I'm not convinced Iowa doesn't have a bad offense? They'll be the best defense we play all year (which is scary given how we've looked), but I think we can maybe do some things to slow down their offense.
- Feels like we might rush for 7 yards. Solid run defense, they know the QB isn't a threat to run in any way, so they shut down every running thing we try. To move the ball it will have to be through JGjr's arm.
All of that adds up to a game that's a little uncomfortably close for Iowa in the first half (with a few turnover going Illinois' way) but then the game gets away from us in the fourth quarter and Iowa covers the spread with a late touchdown.
Iowa 30, Illinois 13