Illini spring football: Defense has offense playing ‘catch-up’

By on April 11, 2015 wins championships, or so we are told.  There’s no doubt that a strong defense is crucial in the success of your team and check out what one of the weaker teams in the Big 10 is doing to improve in that area.

Beckman is starting to see a big difference with his defenders

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. • For the first time since he became offensive coordinator two seasons ago, Bill Cubit looks around and knows there is truth in this alarming Illini football statement:

The defense is currently running ahead of the offense.

When he was presented with the “Cubit’s playing catch-up” theory Monday after practice, the gray-haired, play-calling wizard didn’t disagree.

“Absolutely, we are right now,” Cubit said. And when quizzed about the way the defensive front seemed to bully his offensive line in a scrimmage Friday night, Cubit was asked specifically about the disruptive play of defensive end Jihad Ward.

“We’ve got no one who can block him,” Cubit said, candidly. “Our tackles can do OK, but we do not have a tight end who can handle him.”

The Illini defense has been in shameful disarray for most of the last two seasons while head coach Tim Beckman committed to playing a largely inexperienced group of linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.

In 2013, Illinois finished 11th of 12 teams in Big Ten total defense. Last season Illinois checked in dead last, 14th of 14 teams. See more…

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