Illinois vs. Rutgers fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 6
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: HighPoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ
Illinois (2-2) vs. Rutgers (1-4) Game Preview
One Reason Why Illinois Will Win
Sometimes teams need a week off more than others. After the gut-punch loss to USF, and the blowout loss to Penn State, Illinois needed the time off. Now, there’s a shot quarterback AJ Bush might be back, MJ Rivers got more work if that doesn’t happen, and …
The team just needed the break.
Rutgers isn’t doing anything offensively. It’s not taking advantage of its chances when in the red zone, there’s no downfield passing game, and it’s the least-efficient passing attack in the country.
The turnovers have slowed over the last few games after starting out with 12 turnovers in the first three games, but they’re still an issue. Illinois has yet to lose the turnover battle, coming up with two more more takeaways in every game.
If the Illini are a +2, they’ll pull this off.
One Reason Why Rutgers Will Win
The Illinois offense isn’t exactly cranking up the big production.
The chains aren’t moving, the offensive line has struggled, and this is one of the few teams just as lousy as Rutgers when it comes to passing efficiency. But the O wasn’t supposed to be explosive. The D was supposed to be a whole lot better.
Penn State ripped through the Illini defensive front like it wasn’t there, coming up with 387 yards and six scores a week after getting run over by USF for 215 yards.
The Scarlet Knight running game is way overdue to have a decent performance. The running backs are solid – Raheem Blackshear and Jonathan Hilliman can carry the attack – and the O line hasn’t been all that bad. It might not be Wisconsin’s line, but it’s not allowing a whole lot of plays in the backfield.
This is the game Rutgers has to hammer away and control the clock from the start.
What’s Going To Happen
The two are on equal mediocre footing enough to make this an interesting game.
Neither team will rip it up with the passing game, but the rested Illini will do just a bit more to move the chains, and the defense will come up with a few key turnovers to convert on.
Rutgers will have its chances to take over and pull this out late, but it won’t be able to come through – it’ll stall on its final drive.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Illinois 23, Rutgers 17
Line: Illinois -4, o/u: 50.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 2
5: First Man
1: ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast