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Rutgers vs Illinois: Game Preview

NCAA Football: Iowa at Rutgers Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers vs Illinois

Location: High Point Solutions Stadium | Piscataway, New Jersey

Time: 12pm ET


Radio: WOR 710-AM, WCTC 1450-AM, WENJ 97.3-FM, WNJE 920-AM

Line: Illinois -6

Other On the Banks previews

Linebacker Depth is a big concern

Official Preview of Illinois

The Week 7 Depth Chart

Picking Against The Spread

Why they love Illinois

The Tale of the Tape

Rutgers and Illinois are two of the worst teams in the B1G and not many people are looking forward to this one. The 1-4 Illini are actually 6 point favorites on the road against the 2-4 Scarlet Knights and that line has been increasing in their favor. Illinois’ starting QB Wes Lunt left their game against Purdue and Chayce Crouch looks to get the majority of snaps at QB. He is a run-first type but was very efficient passing it against Purdue. Since he can run, he is an immediate threat to Rutgers and they will need to gameplan around him. This is a case where Wes Lunt’s injury is a blessing in disguise for Illinois.

How Rutgers wins

Rutgers wins this game by stopping the run. With Wes Lunt likely limited, Chayce Crouch will be leading a potent rushing attack. Rutgers has really struggled to stop the run in B1G play and will without a doubt be forced to stop it against Illinois. The Illini will look to run it down their throats until Rutgers finds a way to stop them. Illinois will attack Rutgers with 3 running backs and a quarterback who can run as well. As I’ve mentioned many times, the fact that Illinois has a running QB really worries me. Rutgers has a history of getting burned by running QBs and they will have to prepare extra careful for this one. If Rutgers takes away the run, Illinois isn’t proficient enough to pass themselves to a win and Rutgers should take care of business.

How Illinois wins

Illinois has weapons all over their offense to run the ball with. They also have a top-notch defensive line with future NFL draft picks. This game will be decided by who can run the ball well. If Illinois’ 3 backs and QB can run the ball effectively, they have a great shot to win. Additionally, if their defensive line can stop Robert Martin and control the Rutgers running game, they should have no problem limiting the offense, as Chris Laviano has yet to prove that he can throw the team to a win. If Illinois controls the line of scrimmage, they win this game.

Official Prediction

This game eerily reminds me of the Maryland game last year. I don’t expect a big crowd or a lot of excitement surrounding this game. I actually expect a really good game, but not a lot of people will witness it. I think that Illinois will do very well on offense with all of the injuries to the Rutgers linebackers and they will be able to run the ball well. Illinois’ biggest strength is their defensive line and they will give the Rutgers offensive line fits. Nothing I have seen from Rutgers in the past 3 weeks tells me they can win this game. I really hope I’m wrong, but you all have to understand where I’m coming from. Illinois 34 Rutgers 28.