Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Preview and Pick

Illinois Fighting Illini (7-3) +15 at #1 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0)
by Staff

This week the Illinois Fighting Illini travel to play the top ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes can’t look past the Fighting Illini, who were 2-10 last year but barely lost to Ohio State 17-10. If Ohio State wins their next two games they will be playing for the National Championship. Last week Illinois beat Minnesota 44-17, while Ohio State beat then #21 Wisconsin 38-17. Illinois is fighting to play in a decent bowl game and they will be pumped for this game, as they want to get a bowl bid, as they have not played in a bowl game since 2001. The Buckeyes are tough at home but cant take Illinois lightly. Illinois can play the spoiler here and move into the top 25 with a victory at Ohio State.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are led by QB Todd Boeckman (1965 yds 23 TD 8 INT) who has played well all year and has limited his mistakes throwing the football. The Buckeyes rushing attack is led by Chris Wells (1165 yds 10 TD) who is averaging 174.3 yards in his last three games. He is a big back who is hard to take down.

The Buckeyes main receivers are the talented duo of Brian Robiskie (44 rec 833 10 TD) and Brian Hartline (41 rec 524 yds 5 TD). Both these receivers are 63 and can create match up problems for any opposing secondary. Ohio States offense ranks 43rd in total yards, 75th in passing yards, 23rd in rushing yards, and 25th in points scored. On defense the Buckeyes are tough up front and have to play well, as Illinois is tough rushing the ball. They have to contain ultra mobile Illinois QB Juice Williams and make him beat them through the air.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are led by QB Juice Williams (1138 yds 8 TD 9 INT) who is fun to watch being a mobile QB, but has made some mistakes when passing the ball. The strength of Illinois is their rushing attack, which is led by Rashard Mendenhall (1314 yds 14 TD) who leads the Big Ten in rushing and had 201 yards last week against Minnesota. QB Williams is also a rushing threat, as he has 568 yards rushing with 5 TDs.

Illinois main receivers are super freshman Arrelious Benn (573 yds 1 TD) and Rashard Mendenhall (25 rec 226 yds 2 TD).These guys will have to make some big catches so the Buckeyes D does not only focus on Illinois rushing game. Iit wllinois is ranked 45th in total yards, 116th in passing yards, 6th in rushing yards, and 62nd in points scored. Illinois has a solid defense and they rarely missed a tackle, as they are a well-coached team. Their D will have to contain the Buckeyes rushing attack, as well have good coverage on their tall receivers.

The Pick: Look for Illinois to come out fighting, like their name implies, as this will be a closer game than many people think. The Buckeyes are too good a team to lose this game but Illinois will make it close and cover the spread.

For more Week 11 college football predictions, check out our Staff Picks which have been ice cold the past few weeks are are due to catch fire soon!