Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Indiana vs. Illinois Primer and Prediction

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.

Defensive Rankings

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