Illinois plays Purdue this week for the Purdue Cannon. The Boilermakers have not won a football game in November for the past 5 years. Do the stars finally line up for the Illini?
Location: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
Time: 11 AM CST
TV: BTN, FoxSportsGO
Keys for Illinois
Score Some Points (How basic do we have to get for a positive note?)
I used to tell my 5th grade basketball team over the summer that the only way to score is to shoot the ball. The one day we decided to do it, we won the tournament. Same strategy applies to all sports. Illinois has been playing very conservatively, Lovie needs to let the boys loose. Let them play. I want Smalling to explode for 200 yards and multiple TDs and Ra’von Bonner to run for another score or two. At this point in the season, there is nothing to lose, no reason to slow down the pace. Purdue is a good defense this year but haven’t taken away the ball in 2 games. This is a good chance to air it out.
Close up that Defense
Illinois proved it again that our young defense is dominant. We held Wisconsin in check for most of the game. Yes they reigned it in the second half, but we still only allowed 168 rushing yards in the entire game, the 3rd lowest of the season. Purdue has a RB by committee that has 1225 yards and 7 TDs on the season, with 478 of those yards coming in the last 2 games. This isn’t good for the Illini, but if the defense can make open field tackles and keep the Purdue offense from getting into rhythm, the Illini have a chance.
This is a growing year for Illinois. We need effective play by our QBs and offensive line. Purdue’s defense has not been able to close out games, so, Illinois needs to start strong and get ahead in the first half. If that happens, Illinois can win. But we all know that would only happen if we play a perfect game. Purdue wins 21-14.