Illinois vs. Ball State Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the Illinois vs. Ball State fearless prediction and game preview.
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2nd
Game Time:12:00 pm ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
Illinois (0-0) vs. Ball State (0-0) Game Preview
Illinois, there’s no reason to not start out hot.
Oh sure, there’s still work to be done on an inconsistent offense that struggled to do much of anything right last season, and the defense needs work to be up to what it should be under Lovie Smith, but beat Ball State.
If this is going to be a decent second season under Smith, the Illini have to be good enough to put away a decent and experienced Cardinal team with plenty of upside, but is still a decent and experience MAC team.
With Western Kentucky and a trip to South Florida up next, nothing is given to this Illini team. Ball State is what qualifies as a tune-up, but it’s still dangerous.
One Reason Why Ball State Will Win
Get ready for James Gilbert.
The smallish, quick Cardinal back is the right fit for the Ball State up-tempo offense, cranking out big yards in chunks throughout last season running for 1,332 yards and 12 scores. The Ball State offense creates big holes to roll through, and that’s not a plus for an Illinois defense needing to overcome the loss of all four starters up front.
There should be a decent rotation for the Illini D line, and the linebacking corps will be active, but Gilbert will be a problem.
One Reason Why Illinois Will Win
If the passing game is going to work, this is the game to make it happen.
While the hope was for JUCO transfer Dwayne Lawson to be ready to roll for the Illini, that didn’t happen. Now it’s up to Chayce Crouch to make the offense his, and he’s got the receiving corps to do it.
This might be the team’s biggest plus, with 2014 star target Mike Dudek back along with a solid group of veterans. Ball State’s corners are fine, but after doing nothing last year against the better passing teams, there’s a prove-it factor.
What’s Going To Happen
Illinois will look terrific after a tough first half.
The Illini defense will have a few issues with the up-tempo attack early on, but the offense will get it rolling with Crouch having a nice game and the ground attack taking over as the game goes on.
It might not be a dominant win, but it’ll be relatively stress free. It’ll be what the Illini needs.
Illinois vs. Ball State Prediction
Illinois 30, Ball State 17
Illinois -7 o/u: 58
5: Dustin Johnson playoff drive – 1: McGregor’s boxing skills … 4
Must See Rating
5: Logan Lucky – 1: Mayweather-McGregor rematch … 2.5