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Sunday Quarterback: South Florida

Credit: WCIA
Published on October 4, 2019 -

Sunday Quarterback: South Florida

TAMPA, Fla.

-- What went right?

What went wrong?

What does the Illinois football team need to do in its bye week?

WCIA 3's Annice McEwan chats with IlliniInquirer.com's Jeremy Werner in Sunday Quarterback: South Florida edition.

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Sunday Quarterback: South Florida

Football team starts its bye week.the illini returned from tampa early saturday morning after their 47-23 loss at 22nd- ranked south florida.there are several things to clean up before big ten play starts -- and several question marks as well.the most notable is at quarterback.starter chayce crouch was benched in the second half in favor of sophomore jeff george, jr.the defense is also a concern -- the illini allowed the bulls to rack up 680 yards -- that's the most by an opponent since 2014.head coach lovie smith says he's not placing blame on any one player or side of the ball -- rather they'll evaluate everything and everyone this week.

Lovie smith:"there's concerns on everything.

I mean we didn't play well, i mean we're not going to group other things that happened.

Easy to look at the quarterback right away but when you give up that many yards on the defensive side, it doesn't really matter.

Our quarterbacks didn't have a whole lot of time to do much so all positions are at fault."

Wcia three's annice mcewan wraps up our coverage from tampa talking with jeremy werner from illini inquirer.com about what went wrong, right and everything in between.

Annice mcewan:"jeremy, the illini were pretty much in this game up until the very late second quarter.

What kind of shifted at that point?"

Jeremy werner:"yeah.

They cut the lead to 16-9 there with the long mike epstein run and then usf just came back and dominated again.

They were dominating total yards, time of possession, line of scrimmage, playmakers, everything.

So it was amazing illinois was only down 16-9 at one point, but this was total domination by the best team illinois has faced, a different kind of speed, a different kind of athlete, a different kind of experience than they've played so far.

These freshmen, ten started with is a record for illinois, which beat last week's record of seven.

This is a young team that's going to take its lumps, and boy, it took a lot of lumps tonight."mcewan: "especially in that second half, the defense looked quite a bit different than it did against western kentucky.

Which one can illini fans see more as the identity of this defense?"werner:"i don't know how many guys like quintin flowers they're going to face this year.

So, that's the good news.

They're going to play bigger teams. they're going to pay better defensive teams, most likely, so the offense is a big concern.

Defensively, though, i expected this team to struggle against the run, but they gave up three 100-yard rushers today.

I think that's going to be more like illinois this year.

It's kind of what i expected, but i think usf would beat a lot of the opponents illinois' got on its schedule moving forward."

Mcewan:"heading into this season, a lot of people felt more comfortable having chayce crouch behind center, but what should we think having jeff george out there again, and in that qb battle again?"werner: "to be honest, two years ago i thought chayce crouch would never be a starting quarterback at illinois.

Jeff george, jr, jimmy fitzgerald, i thought would be the guys competing for the job because they could pass the ball a lot better, especially in bill cubit's offense.

Chayce crouch is not a good passer and he continues to show it.

He's inaccurate, doesn't have a big arm, but also, he's not making good decisions right now.

I think garrick mcgee should probably run him a little bit more, but at this moment, jeff george gave them a better chance to move the ball.

Illinois has good playmakers.

Malik turner, mike dudek, you saw ricky smalling, louis dorsey today.

What more can you say about mike epstein and how good he is?

They have good playmakers, need somebody who can get them the ball.

Garrick mcgee has been running more of a pocket-passing scheme, maybe you should run your pocket-passing quarterback a little bit better because we all know jeff george is a better passer, but can illinois succeed with him?

That's another question.

But we definitely know we have a quarterback controversy right now for illinois."mcewan:"the illini have a bye week before opening big ten play against nebraska at home on the 29th.

For annice mcewan and jeremy werner of illiniinquirer.com, bret we'll send it back to

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