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Illinois vs. Kent State - 9/4/15 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Kent State Golden Flashes (2-9) at Illinois Fighting Illini (6-7)

College Football: Friday, September 4, 2015 at 9:00 pm (Memorial Stadium)

The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -14 -- Over/Under: 51.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: Big Ten Network

The Kent State Golden Flashes and Illinois Fighting Illini play Friday night at Memorial Stadium.

The Kent State Golden Flashes are looking for any type of progress after winning a combined six games their last two seasons. Colin Reardon returns at quarterback after completing 57 percent of his passes for 2,466 yards, 14 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Ernest Calhoun and James Brooks combined for more than 600 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Kris White had 25 receptions as a freshman. Nick Holley returns at running back after leading the way with 516 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Nate Holley returns after leading Kent State with 137 tackles, Nate Terhune had 3.5 sacks and Elcee Refuge had six tackles for loss.

Illinois vs. Kent State - 9/4/15 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini look to build on last year's bowl appearance but just made a strange decision to fire coach Tim Beckham. Wes Lunt returns at quarterback after completing 63.5 percent of his passes for 1,763 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Mike Dudek and Geronimo Allison combined for more than 1,600 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns while Malik Turner had 25 receptions as a freshman. Josh Ferguson returns at running back after leading the way with 735 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Defensively, Mason Monheim returns after leading Illinois with 111 tackles, Jihad Ward had three sacks and Dawuane Smoot had 7.5 tackles for loss.

The Golden Flashes are 5-1-2 ATS in their last 8 Friday games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in September. The Fighting Illini are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games on fieldturf and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. 

I think Illinois has enough talent in place to be a surprise in the Big Ten this season. Yes, I'm a little concerned about the coaching change that just happened, however, Kent State is straight trash. If the Fighting Illini can't win this game easily with a new guy calling the shots, we have an issue. 

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Illinois Fighting Illini -14

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