Illinois vs. WKU Game Preview & Fearless Prediction
Check out the Illinois vs. WKU fearless prediction and game preview.
Illinois (1-0) vs. WKU (1-0) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, Sept. 9th
Game Time: 8:00 pm ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
Can a top Group of Five team really beat a mediocre Power Five program?
Of course, it happens all the time. But this is a big one for Conference USA, needing one of its biggest stars to come through with a win after Southern Miss got stopped by Kentucky and Middle Tennessee was shut down cold by Vanderbilt.
Western Kentucky didn’t seem quite like the Western Kentucky of old to start out the season against Eastern Kentucky, having a hard time putting away the Colonels in a 31-17 win. But that doesn’t matter if the Hilltoppers can get new head man Mike Sanford his first big win.
Illinois needed a blocked kick to survive Ball State, but it’s still a rebuilding process under Lovie Smith and things aren’t going to be that smooth. Even so, lose this at home, and it might show that the Illini bowl hopes might be done before the season even gets going.
One Reason Why WKU Will Win
When did Ball State become Florida State defensively?
Illinois connected on two big pass plays, and that was about it. There wasn’t any ground attack, the passing game didn’t go anywhere, and somehow, the Illini survived 216 yards of total offense.
WKU might not have a big-time defense, and it got hit hard by EKU, but it might not take a massive offensive effort to get this done.
Ball State couldn’t take advantage of all of its opportunities. The Hilltoppers have to score whenever it gets the shot.
One Reason Why Illinois Will Win
No, this doesn’t seem like the Jeff Brohm Hilltoppers at all. At least not yet.
The offensive line isn’t quite as nasty, the running game sputtered against the Colonels, and the explosion won’t be there like it was throughout the last few seasons.
That doesn’t mean WKU isn’t dangerous – Mike White is still a great passer another are still some nice pieces in place – but if the Illinois defense can rise up in key spots like it did against Ball State, it should be able to find a way at home to control the clock and the game.
What’s Going To Happen
Illinois QB Chayce Crouch was just okay as the full-time head man, and Mike Dudek and the weapons had a hard time breaking out other than Dudek’s one score. Against the Hilltoppers, the passing game will work, but not quite well enough.
White will be maddeningly effective as the Hilltoppers hit third down play after third down play. It’ll be a disappointing loss for Smith – Illinois will look like it has a long, long way to go.
Illinois vs. WKU Prediction
WKU 27, Illinois 24
WKU -8, o/u: 52.5
5: 4th Quarter Josh Rosen – 1: 1st Quarter UCLA fans … 3.5
Must See Rating
5: Logan Lucky – 1: The Mayor … 2.5