Week 4 – Louisiana Tech at Illinois

Posted Sep 21, 2012

Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction – Louisiana Tech at Illinois

Louisiana Tech (2-0) at Illinois (2-1) Sept. 22, 8:00, BTN

Here's The Deal: On a normal late December evening this would be a decent bowl matchup. Louisiana Tech might be the best team in the WAC, or at least it'll be in a battle with Utah State, while Illinois is just good enough to be in the mix for the depleted Leaders race and has just enough talent to be able to do more. With two blowout wins and a brutal loss to Arizona State, the Illini are trying to find themselves before kicking off the Big Ten season against Penn State, while Louisiana Tech has put 56 on the board in each of the first two games against Houston and Rice and now gets a chance to make a name for itself. With a road trip to Virginia up next before getting three straight home games, if the Bulldogs are good enough to beat the Illini, they're going to be good enough to come up with a strong start.

Why Louisiana Tech Might Win: The offense is humming. Houston and Rice can't play a lick of defense, but still, the Tech attack is humming in midseason form cranking out over 1,200 yards in the first two games with a tremendous balance. The offensive line has been dominant paving the way for a ground game that's cranking out 289 yards per outing, while the passing game is bombing away deep. As good as quarterback Colby Cameron and running back Tevin King have been, can the offense make up for …

Why Illinois Might Win: The Louisiana Tech defense has been awful. Rice and Houston bombed away to keep up, and they had no problems with Houston chucking for 580 yards and four scores and Rice coming up with 510 yards of total offense. The Bulldog attack has been better, but Illinois should be able to pick and choose how it wants to move the ball. The Illini attack isn't coming up with any semblance of consistency, but this is the game when the passing attack should shine. But …

What To Watch Out For: Who's going to throw the ball for the Illini? Nathan Scheelhaase has a lingering ankle problem that just doesn't seem able to get right. He's trying to come back, and he has been questionable for the last few weeks, but he hasn't been able to go. If he's not able to get on the field, Reilly O'Toole might be ready to do more. He showed against Charleston Southern that he could move the offense with 333 yards and five scoring passes, and while he can run, he's not Scheelhaase. For Louisiana Tech, Tevin King has been phenomenal for the ground game with 112 rushing yards and three scores against Houston and 204 yards on 22 carries against Rice. The freshman has balanced out the offense proving the Bulldogs can do more than just throw.

What Will Happen: Watch out, Illinois; Louisiana Tech is good. The offense is there for the Bulldogs, but the defense will give up yards, especially on the ground, even faster. It will be a shootout with the Illini needing to sweat it out.

CFN Prediction: Illinois 45 … Louisiana Tech 34
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Illinois -3 O/U: 49
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ray Lewis: A Football Life, 1 – Frankenweenie): 3