The 3-6 Indiana Hoosiers travel to Champaign, Illinois on Saturday for a noon kickoff with the 2-7 Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised on BTN. Both teams are 0-6 in the B1G. Illinois is on a 7 game losing streak after starting the season at 2-0. Indiana is on a 4 game losing streak. Indiana has 3 games remaining and must win all 3 (Rutgers, @Purdue) to achieve its 3rd straight .500 season and ensure bowl eligibility. Indiana has active winning streaks against each of Illinois, Rutgers and Purdue.
Meet the Fighting Illini
Head Coach – Lovie Smith (former NFL coach of the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Offensive Rankings (out of 130 teams)
Total Points – 124th
Total Yards – 122nd
Total Passing Yards – 99th
- Jeff George, Jr. (son of the former NFL QB) has thrown for 1,012 yards with 5 TDs and 8 interceptions.
Total Rushing Yards – 116th
- Mike Epstein is the leading rusher with 346 yards (6.1 ypc) and 3 TDs.
Total Points – 76th
Total Yards – 65th
Total Pass Yards – 36th
Total Rushing Yards – 104th
Overall – Illinois has struggled mightily on offense behind sophomore quarterback Jeff George, Jr., and the lack of a consistent running game. The defense has been good at times but not good enough to compensate for the lackluster offense.
The Series – Illinois leads the all-time series 45-23-2. Indiana has a 2 game winning streak in the series, with a 52-35 win in Bloomington in 2013 and a 31-17 victory in Champaign in 2012.
Common Opponents – The only common opponents thus far is Wisconsin. Illinois lost at home to the Badgers 24-10. Indiana lost at home to the Badgers 45-17.
Prediction – The point spread has Indiana as an 8 point favorite. We predict a closer game with Indiana hanging on. Indiana extends its winning streak over Illinois to 3 games, 20-17.
Main photo credit – AP