Check out the Nebraska vs. Illinois fearless prediction and game preview.
Nebraska (4-0) vs. Illinois (1-2) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, Oct. 1
Game Time: 3:30 pm
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Why Illinois Will Win
What’s working? After getting throttled over the last two games by North Carolina and Western Michigan, what can the Illini rely on so far?
The secondary has been okay, the pass rush has been excellent at times, and for all the issues defensively, it’s been able to get off the field without too much of a problem – it’s good on third downs.
Nebraska has been explosive when it has to be, and it’s been steady so far, but it had to struggle against a Northwestern team last week that slowed the game to a crawl. Illinois might try that at times, but it’ll also push a Husker secondary that’s been okay, not sensational.
Illinois has a passing attack with Wes Lunt doing an okay job so far without a ton of weapons to work with. If he gets time, and he gets into a groove, the offense will take the 251 yards and two scores with no picks he came up with in last year’s win over the Huskers.
Why Nebraska Will Win
The offense has been almost perfectly balanced, and when things have been tight at times, it’s been able to do what’s needed.
Have to pull away from Wyoming? Start throwing deep to Jordan Westerkamp. Have to take over the Oregon game and slow things down a bit? Keep cranking out the running game, and do it against Northwestern, too, in a slugfest.
Tommy Armstrong has been, arguably, the best quarterback in the Big Ten so far with just one pick, 931 passing yards, and four rushing scores. He’s been a game manager, he’s been a dynamic playmaker, and he’s done everything needed as the senior leader for the adaptable offense that can do more things than the Illini can.
Yeah, Illinois is stopping teams on third downs, but the offense isn’t moving the chains. There just isn’t enough pop to keep up if the Huskers can get up early.
What’s Going To Happen?
It’s the first road game for an Illinois team that isn’t showing much of anything to suggest it can win a game like this.
It’s a measuring stick for Lovie Smith and the Illini program in his first Big Ten game, considering Illinois won 14-13 last year. This year’s team isn’t playing well enough to hang around with the Huskers as long as Armstrong is being Armstrong.
Nebraska might not be seen as anything too special quite yet, but it’ll come up with a performance that’ll continue to wake people up to just how good this team might be.
Nebraska vs. Illinois Prediction
Final Score: Nebraska 41, Illinois 23
Line: Nebraska -21, o/u: 53
ATS Confidence: 5: Treasure Bath – 1: Nahhhh … 1
Must See Rating: 5: Nicki Minaj T-Mobile ads – 1: Storks … 2.5