Minnesota vs. Illinois Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the Minnesota vs. Illinois fearless prediction and game preview.
Minnesota (3-3) vs. Illinois (2-4) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, October 21st
Game Time: 3:30 pm ET
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Indiana has yet to win a Big Ten game, but its three losses are to Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State – the Hoosiers will win a few games.
With Rutgers getting a win over Illinois last week, now the Fighting Illini roll into Minneapolis facing one of the two other teams in the conference who haven’t won a Big Ten game.
Minnesota can’t lose this.
The Gophers have struggled to get the offense going in losses to Maryland, Michigan State and Purdue. They haven’t been miserable, but they’re 0-3 in the conference and have three of their next four games on the road.
With Wisconsin and Nebraska still to play, and road dates at Iowa, Michigan and Northwestern still to deal with, the Gophers have to enjoy this.
There’s a good chance Illinois will be big underdogs the rest of the way, but this is a young team that’s trying to figure it all out under Lovie Smith. A win won’t turn things around, but after losing at home to Rutgers by double-digits, there has to be something positive.
One Reason Why Minnesota Will Win
Illinois really, really can run the ball consistently.
There were a few nice moments against Iowa – coming up with 200 yards and a score, but there wasn’t any push whatsoever against Rutgers, averaging under three yards per carry.
Jeff George Jr. isn’t a good enough quarterback to make up for the lack of a ground attack.
Second-to-last in the Big Ten in total offense, and second-to-last in total defense, there hasn’t been a whole lot of production. Minnesota needs to get up early, and then take the air out of the ball.
One Reason Why Illinois Will Win
Is this the game the Illinois run defense finally steps up?
Minnesota is trying to throw the ball, and it’s having a little bit of success, but if it’s not running well, it can’t win.
The Gopher O line has been good, but there wasn’t enough of a push against Maryland or Michigan State – Minnesota hasn’t hit the 100-yard mark in two of the last three games.
Michigan State didn’t do anything tricky; it just stopped the Minnesota running game to just 74 yards.
On the other side, no, the Illinois offense hasn’t been anything great, but the passing game has been able to crank up yards over the last few games. There might be just four touchdown passes on the year and 11 interceptions, but with the insertion of Jeff George Jr., the Illini have thrown for 246 yards or ore in three of their last four games.
What’s Going To Happen
Minnesota will have its moment. The ground game will grind up 250 yards, the defense will hold up early, and it’ll finally be an easy game for a team that can’t seem to do much of anything without a fight.
Illinois will throw well enough to not be out of it, but it’s not going to be consistent enough to make a second half push.
Minnesota vs. Illinois Prediction
Minnesota 34, Illinois 17
Minnesota -14, o/u: 46
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