Earlier I previewed the Purdue Boilermakers. But how does Illinois stack up? Illinois will be rocking the gray ghost tomorrow for an afternoon kickoff.
Run. Run. Run the ball. Illinois is really good at running the ball. The 13th ranked rushing offense has piled up 1,304 yards and 11 TDs. Corbin and Epstein have split carries and are averaging almost 8 yards a carry. There is a chance we could see 2 1,000 yard rushers this year, maybe 3 if A.J. Bush didn’t miss 2 and a half games.
But here is the tough part. Illinois can move the ball down the field. But we are moving the ball down the field too fast. Purdue has a potent offense that won’t turn the ball over as much as as Rutgers. Illinois needs to take control of the clock and keep moving the chains.
Illinois isn’t the best against the pass and have allowed 1,447 yards and 10 TDs in the season. But the Illini defense is second in the nation in interceptions per game at 10. Purdue started the year averaging 225 yards a game on the ground but since then it has fallen off sharply, with less than 200 yards in the last 3 games. Illinois defense will bend with a strong passing attack. But winning the turnover margin will keep it from breaking.
It’s homecoming. It’s Purdue. Illinois has a chance to be over .500 in the B1G for the first time in 1110 days when Illinois won their B1G opener against Nebraska 14-13 on October 3rd, 2015 in Champaign. This will be a close fought game. Illinois is better than last year and I don’t see the Illini falling to the Boilermakers.