Upset In Urbana Mailbag I
The Fox College Football Twitter account dubbed our win the "Upset In Urbana" today. I love it. May that forever be the name of this game. As I said in my tweet, I'm going to make shirts that say "I was in Champaign for the Upset In Urbana". If you want to see Upset In Urbana in all its glory, here's the tweet.
So let's start the mailbag with a very important question:
If I was tailgating in lot 42, was I in Champaign or Urbana for the #upsetinUrbana?
-- Sand Person (@Idlepants) October 22, 2019
EXCELLENT question. And I think I actually know the answer?
I believe (and Google Maps appears to confirm) that while the Mt. Hope Cemetery is in Urbana (meaning that if you cross Fourth Street and hop the fence into the cemetery, you're hopping over into Urbana), Lot 42 is in Champaign. The border between the two cities runs right down Kirby/Florida at that point and then "turns" right just past the baseball stadium. Meaning, if someone hits a deep home run to right field, they're actually hitting it from Champaign to Urbana.
Actually, that should be a thing. Who is the new play-by-play guy for Illinois Baseball? Scott Beatty? Hey Scott, if someone jacks one deep to right, add "he hit that one to Urbana" to the repertoire. And maybe have someone go out and mark the exact line beyond the fence where Champaign stops and Urbana starts.
(Note: I might be completely wrong about this. But Google Maps does show the line just beyond the right field fence.)
Anyway, if that's true (and it's totally true), then when tailgating in Lot 42, Sand Person, you are tailgating in Champaign. Only those who tailgate beyond the baseball stadium and closer to Atkins Tennis Center are tailgating in Urbana.
Who did you have the most memorable interaction with after the game?
-- Will Griffith (@WillGriffith5) October 22, 2019
Great question. After wandering around for three minutes (the recording I posted where I avoided walking out on the field because I wanted to be in the northeast corner for the school song), I realized that the song wasn't going to happen for a while so I headed out on the field. I high-fived any an all fans who said my name, hugged several people (can't really remember who), ran around greeting former players (Michael Heitz, Austin Roberts - I thought I saw my guy Alex Hill but it wasn't him), etc. etc.
But since your question said "after the game", I'm going with my conversation with Nate Echard, Mikey Dudek, and Chayce Crouch in Lot 31 about three hours after the game. I saw Chayce throwing a football, went up and made a "I thought your shoulder was messed up" joke, Echard and Dudek came over, and we chatted for a while. The best part of that interaction? When Kipper Nichols and Da'Monte Williams walked up. Kipper and Nate Echard apparently lived next to each other or something? They caught up on old times.
If you want to get my fanboy brain on overload, have Illini basketball players and football players interact in front of me. At my core, I'm still the guy who couldn't believe that Kiwane Garris knew my name when he asked to borrow a pencil for a test in a Leisure Studies class (yes, Leisure Studies). So Kipper and Echard laughing about some moment in the past? I-L-L.
Were you surprised that WI kicked that last FG instead of going for TD on 4th down? I was. Was Chryst questioned about this?
-- Mike Waldbusser (@mwaldbusser) October 21, 2019
I wasn't. At that point, they had to make it a two score game. With the #1 defense in the country (NOT ANYMORE), you have to think that a two score game is safe at that point. Less than 10 minutes remaining, Illinois will need two scores. If you go for it on fourth down and don't get in, you're now giving the other team the ball with a chance to score and win. Make it a nine point game and your opponent will have to score, get the ball back, and score again.
And I think time of possession plays into that as well. Wisconsin's defense is still fresh. Illinois' defense is dead. Even if Illinois scores, you have to think your next drive can be Taylor right, Taylor left, Taylor up the middle. Make it a two score game and it's over.
(It wasn't over. Somehow. But I still think the FG was the right call.)
Did you have doubt or were you certain the kick was going through the uprights?
-- Tony Hooker (@vgfatboy) October 21, 2019
Before the kick? Absolutely. I've stood in that spot three times:
- The Reisner FG against Penn State in 2014.
- The McLaughlin FG against Purdue in 2016 (doink).
- The McCourt FG against Wisconsin.
I stand there for one reason: to know whether it's good two seconds before the rest of the stadium. Standing there, you basically know as soon as it's in the air. The Reisner FG (with a heavy right-to-left wind that day) made me hesitate for a second (he started it at the right upright and let it ride the wind back through), but this one didn't. As soon as he kicked it, you knew it was good.
And they kicked it so quickly that I barely had time to think about it. I was watching the Wisconsin defense get set and then we snapped it before they were really even set. So it was this.. "holy crap the kick is already OH MY GOD THAT'S RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE".
Chills just thinking about it. What an incredible day.
Note: I thought I'd have about five hours to mailbag tonight. I only found 90 minutes. But I got a lot of good questions, so I'm going to try to mailbag three or four more times this week. So stay tuned.