Week 11 - Illinois at Indiana

Posted Nov 8, 2013

Week 11 Big Ten Fearless Predictions & Preview - Illinois at Indiana

Illinois (3-5) at Indiana (3-5) Nov. 9 3:30, BTN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: It's not exactly a bowl elimination game, but it might as well be.

Illinois and Indiana are both going to finish ahead of an awful Purdue team in the Leaders, but they're not anywhere near the hunt for the division title. Indiana has been fun and exciting, but the 44-24 win over Penn State is looking more and more like an aberration. On a three game losing streak thanks to a defense that can't come up with a stop, the Hoosiers are struggling to get back on track. With road games at Wisconsin and Ohio State up next, a loss to the Illini would be a total disaster.

Illinois has lost four straight and has yet to come up with a Big Ten win. Struggling to find any consistency, the Illini gave away a loss to Penn State in overtime after getting blown away by Wisconsin and Michigan State. Purdue and Northwestern might be winnable games to close out November, but Ohio State is up next.

Why Illinois Might Win: Indiana isn't playing any defense. Want to run on the Hoosier front seven? Go right ahead. Want to get the passing game moving? Have fun. The Hoosiers aren't getting off the field with a total inability to come up with a third down stop, and the secondary isn't coming up with enough big plays to offset the mistakes. Illinois has no problems pushing the ball down the field, and if Nathan Scheelhaase can get hot, keeping up in a shootout shouldn't be a problem. However, Illinois might have a bad D, but …

Why Indiana Might Win: Illinois isn't stopping anyone easier. The Illini give up lots and lots and lots of passing yards. Last in the Big Ten and 116th in the nation in pass efficiency defense, it could be a long day for an Illinois defense that's not coming up with enough meaningful stops. With no pass rush coming from the Illini line, the Hoosier quarterbacks should be able to relax and bomb away to their heart's content.

Who To Watch Out For: The Indiana passing game might be the most fun aspect of the sped-up offense, but the running game isn't just along for the ride. Tevin Coleman has grown into a key part of the attack, leading IU with 743 rushing yards with ten scores, taking advantage of the big openings and holes to average well over seven yards per carry over the last few weeks. He's not a workhorse, but he has rushed for a score every game. He needs to be a steadying factor in what should a wild shootout.

What Will Happen: With two teams with no defense and some big play offenses, expect a back-and-forth battle with plenty of big swings. Indiana will have a little more pop at home.

Prediction: Indiana 48 … Illinois 40
Line: Indiana -9.5 o/u: 76.5
Must See Rating: (5 The Wolf of Wall Street – 1 Ass Backwards) … 3
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