Indiana (2-5, 0-3) at Illinois (2-5, 03), Saturday 12pm ET (BTN)
Line: Illinois -1 1/2
Last Meeting: 2011 (41-20 Illinois W)
3 Players to Watch:
1) Stephen Houston (RB Indiana): Illinois is allowing 157 yards a game rushing and have really been burned as of late in the rushing game. Houston averages over 5 yards a carry and has to be a huge part of the game for the Hoosiers to have a shot. He needs to make the Illini not sit back in a shell defense against the best passing game in the Big Ten. Running the ball well early will help that.
2) Nathan Scheelhaase (QB Illinois): He's simply the Illini's best chance of winning. That's because he's their best rusher and their best passer. Coming off of a bye week it allows the Illini QB a chance to heal up even more. He's 3rd on the team in rushing with just over 200 yards and has completed over 60% of his passes this season, however he needs to be more careful with his reads as he's got 5 interceptions to just 3 touchdowns.
3) Josh Ferguson/Donovonn Young (RB's Illinois): As bad as Illinois as been against the run Indiana is way worse, in fact they rank dead last in rushing defense in the league, giving up an average of 226.3 yards a game. Now amazingly only Young has gained that many yards rushing on the Illini this season. Both of these guys need to show they can find a grove or this team has zero chance of winning this game.
Well, Saturday is sure to be an interesting day in the Big Ten with the top two teams in each division playing against each other, but in Memorial Stadium the day will be kicked off with two teams that haven't won a Big Ten game, well since they played each other last season.
There's no way around this one, these two teams are awful. Indiana just lost on the road to Navy last week and Illinois hasn't been able to manage to score more than 24 points in a game against an FBS opponent this season.
Whoever wins this game will likely be the team that can find a way to run the football the best if you ask me, and to me that is Indiana. The Hoosiers offensive line is a bit better than what Illinois offer and the Hoosiers defensive line has a very good player in Adam Repogle on it. Either way this could be a fun game to watch for the simple fact that there could be a ton of points scored as both teams give up more than 30 points a game on the year.
Sit back, relax and open up your weekend with what could be one craptastic game.
My Pick: Indiana 34, Illinois 28