Illinois vs. Western Illinois fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 8
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
Illinois (1-0) vs. Western Illinois (0-1) Game Preview
One Reason Why Western Illinois Will Win
It’s not like the Illinois offense worked in the win over Kent State.
It took a late stop to get by the Golden Flashes 31-24, with the defense having a devil of a time stopping QB Woody Barrett and the offense only getting production out of QB AJ Bush. And now, the Illinois attack doesn’t have WR Mike Dudek anymore after he suffered the third season-ending knee injury of his career.
The Leathernecks don’t have a dangerous running quarterback like Barrett, but Sean McGuire is a big, veteran passer who has the upside to push the ball a bit on the suspect Illinois secondary.
One Reason Why Illinois Will Win
Bush should be able to bail the team out again of any major jams.
The Virginia Tech quarterback transfer ran for 139 yards and hit 13-of-23 passes for 190 yards in the Kent State win. And now, going along with Reggie Corbin and his 79 yards and two scores, the Illini have a few nice options in the backfield.
On the other side, LB Jake Hansen put together a special day with a game-high 15 tackles and six tackles for loss. The Illinois defense might not have come up with enough sacks – it got just one – but it got behind the line, and should do it again.
What’s Going To Happen
Okay … NOW the Illinois season will get started.
It was expected to all kick in against Kent State, but that didn’t happen. Now the offense will look the part, and the defense will be strong against an okay-not-great WIU attack. It’s still not going to be all that pretty, but 2-0 will be 2-0.
For a program that needs wins, and with USF coming up next, Lovie Smith and the Illini will take it.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Illinois 37, Western Illinois 17
Line: No Line
Must See Rating: 1.5
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