Pregame: Illinois at Rutgers, Saturday, October 6th, 11:00am CT, BTN

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#1
Illinois at Rutgers
Satuday, October 6th
11:00am CT
BTN

Line: Illinois -1.5

:illinois:
 
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#6
These next two games will really determine how the rest of the season goes imo. At Rutgers after they bye followed up by Purdue at home. I really hope they come out strong in two weeks considering they have extra time to prepare for Rutgers. If the defense doesn't get better fast they could easily lose both games. Hoping for the best.
 
Likes: illinifan4249
#8
Surprised at the “realism” here. Penn State is a top ten team, and I think last night went better than expected. Closing out games will improve with maturity and experience. I say we beat RU in a close one and handle PU by two scores or more at home.

4-2, when is the last time we had that record at the halfway mark??
 
#10
This Rutgers game absolutely needs to be a win. Preferably a somewhat comfortable one. I am very worried about Purdue.
 
#11
California
I am predicting that Illinois will win this game 41 - 35.

I expect a fast start for the Illini and a desperate battle at the end to maintain the lead.
 
#12
The 4 most winnable games left on schedule define the level of progress imo. Rutgers Purdue Minn and NW are the games that if we can win say 3 of 4 it marks notable progress. 2 is some progress and 1 or 0 is not good. Maybe they can spring an upset somewhere else but these are the type of games the program has to start winning soon.
 
#13
st petersburg, fl
The 4 most winnable games left on schedule define the level of progress imo. Rutgers Purdue Minn and NW are the games that if we can win say 3 of 4 it marks notable progress. 2 is some progress and 1 or 0 is not good. Maybe they can spring an upset somewhere else but these are the type of games the program has to start winning soon.
Judging by how nebraska is playing, I'm beginning to think that's very winnable. They're just getting destroyed by michigan...it's embarassing...after losing two games they should've won. I'm not fully confident yet, though, cuz Illinois has its history of helping other teams get their season back on track. But it' definitely a toss-up, IMO.
 
#15
We should win comfortably at Rutgers. Purdue will be a battle. Neb is woeful this year, so I'm expecting a win at this point. And I'm looking for wins over Minn and NW, partly because as a young team we hopefully figure a few things out in the latter half of the season.
 
#16
The 4 most winnable games left on schedule define the level of progress imo. Rutgers Purdue Minn and NW are the games that if we can win say 3 of 4 it marks notable progress. 2 is some progress and 1 or 0 is not good. Maybe they can spring an upset somewhere else but these are the type of games the program has to start winning soon.
I think it depends on what the wins and losses look like at this point as well. If you go out, score 7 and the other team fumbles seven times it's like you've displayed a ton of progress. The three quarters against Penn St showed a LOT of progress to me. The offense is better. The youngsters are contributing. The program needs more progrees in the way of recruits and depth, but over time I think they continue to improve. Can't wait to see Rutgers. I think the week off will really help us.
 
Likes: Joel Goodson
#17
Play the same first three quarters that they played last night and they might be up 24+ at Rutgers going into the fourth. I do not predict such a lopsided score, but I feel confident about this game. Expect a W and do not care how it comes so long as they leave Piscataway with most players healthy and ready to compete against Purdue.

Key things I am curious about:
-When does Milan come back?
-Will Bush play? If so, this seems to be the ideal team to bring him back in.
-Will the defense start to blitz more?
-Is Bennett Williams healthy, and if so can he return to form? Looked okay at best last night. Really need him to send Marchese to a rotation role, ASAP.
-Will Nate Hobbs show progress off of his great freshman year, or is he going to remain out of form too?
-Will Dorsey become the featured piece of the receiving game that his talents merit?
 
Likes: Ramrod2010
#19
One game at a time......

ILL 34
RU 21

If we lose this one, I'll probably start to publicly doubt the Lovie hire. Our defense is also starting to concern me. Opposing teams seem to have so much space in which to operate. We need to tighten things up. We should be 3-2 heading back home to face Purdue.
 
#20
I am very confident going into this game. Rutgers is bad bad bad... Our players should understand we now have the stretch of games where our last two moral victories can turn into actual victories. Coaching staff with two weeks to prepare and some time for our banged up players to get healthy.

I feel like we are in a good balance right now in that we've played well enough for our players to have confidence that they can win a few games, alongside still being hungry due to the fact that we haven't won yet. Last year in the second half of the season it was pretty clear our guys just didn't have the belief that they could win. That has I believe has changed.
 
#23
The biggest "must win" game of the non-cupcake season. Will be interesting to see if we can build on the positives of last game or not.
 
#24
OFL Supplier, BU's Brylcreem
Virginia
If AJ doesn't return then it's clearly not a hamstring at that point, right? Are we 100% opposed to rolling with Rivers even if AJ is ready? What are the chances Lovie does this, I wonder? Guess we'll find out.
If AJ is ready he should be out there.

MJ is playing well considering the circumstances, but he is making freshman mistakes : throwing the ball up for grabs (High School style), not getting out of the pocket in time, and missing wide open receivers (better options). All to be expected given his experience, but the line over the last two games has been decent in protection (and opening holes for our runners).
 
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#25
OFL Supplier, BU's Brylcreem
Virginia
The biggest "must win" game of the non-cupcake season. Will be interesting to see if we can build on the positives of last game or not.
Its also an away game after a bye week - expect us to come out rusty the first half. Hopefully that does not give Rutgers enough confidence and momentum into the 2nd half to beat us. Best way to beat off the rust is Corbin, Epstein and Bonner - run, Forest run.
 
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