Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 9/30/13
Watching Illini running back Josh Ferguson this season has reminded of those old “we secretly switched Folgers Crystals with the leading brand….let’s see if anyone notices” commercials. Except it would be subbing Josh Ferguson for Marshall Faulk. That’s how special Ferguson has been in the passing game; complementing his running for Illinois. “Now that we’ve made the switch, let’s see what happens during Big Ten play.” The best gambling sites for betting on sports have Ferguson and the Illini as a 10 or 10.5 point underdog at the Nebraska Cornhuskers this Saturday, and if the Illini are to pull off the upset, they’ll have to get the ball to Ferguson, especially so in the passing game. Josh Ferguson is currently leading the Big Ten at 21.8 yards per catch. That’s an astounding number for a running back! And it’s quite rare for a tailback to be leading the conference in yards per reception like that. Almost always, it’s a big play receiver who dominates that statistic. Josh talked Saturday about what a huge difference new Offensive Coordinator Bill Cubit has made: “He’s changed the culture of our offense in the past year he’s been here. He’s a genius. He puts us all in the best positions for every single person. The quarterback is playing well, I’m playing well, the running backs are playing well – as well as the wide receivers and tight ends. We’re just excited to be under his guidance.” Josh Ferguson hasn’t had an impact like this in Champaign until 2013. His first two years in the program he didn’t do much that stood out. However, this year he’s getting a ridiculous amount of yards after the catch. RIDICULOUS. And yards after contact too; as we’ve seen him break tackles left and right. That’s why he’s first in yards-per-catch, Ferguson has converted screen patterns and wheel routes into huge explosion plays. Of course, you got to bring up Quarterback Nate Scheelhaase again, he’s having a Silver Football Award kind of season. He’s first in the Big Ten in passing yards, passing efficiency and total offense. He had more TD passes in the first half Saturday (5) than during the entire season (4) in 2012. The Illini will need Scheelhaase and Josh Ferguson to really be on point Saturday, if they hope to match firepower with the Huskers. Listen to my Illini and Northwestern reports every Tue at 10:30 AM on KOZN 1620 The Zone Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and Facebook, subscribe to his RSS feed here The post We’ve secretly switched Illini RB Josh Ferguson with Marshall Faulk appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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