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.
NATI HARNIK, ASSOCIATED PRESS
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