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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Miami (Ohio) RedHawks Free Pick 9/28/13

Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (0-3) at Illinois Fighting Illini (2-1)

College Football: Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Memorial Stadium)

The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -25 See the Latest Odds


The Miami of Ohio Redhawks head to Memorial Stadium on Saturday to face off against Nathan Scheelhaase and the Illinois Fighting Illini.

The Illinois Fighting Illini is currently sitting at 2-1 on the year after their 34-24 loss to the Washington Huskies back on September 14th.  The Illinois passing attack has been very effective this season with Scheelhaase at the reigns, as the Illini are putting up more than 306 yards per game on average.  The ground game is struggling, only gaining an average of 131.7 per game however.  Defensively the Illini struggle yet again this season, ranking 79th in the nation allowing just over 28 points per outing.  In their loss to the Huskies, the Illini were outgained 327 to 615, and if were not for a couple late scores for the Illini, the score wouldn’t look as close as it does.  Scheelhaase really struggled against the Huskies defense, only completing 9/25 on the day for 156 yards and a score.  The ground game was somewhat effective for the Illini, gaining an average of 3.8 yards per carry, picking up a total of 136 yards on the ground.  Leading the ground attack for Illinois was Young, who finished the day with 58 yards on 12 attempts.  The defense for the Illini had no answer for the Huskies passing attack as Price lit up this secondary to the tune of 342 yards and two scores.  The Huskies were also effective on the ground against Illinois, picking up 273 yards on 50 carries against Illinois.

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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Miami (Ohio) RedHawks Free Pick 9/28/13

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami of Ohio Redhawks are still looking for their first win of the season after Miami fell to the Cincinnati Bearcats at home last Saturday 14-0.  The Redhawks are one of the bottom feeders of the FBS this season as the Redhawks have been outscored 107-21 in their first three games.  Against the Bearcats, the Redhawks managed just 87 yards of offense on the day, getting outgained by Cincy 369-87.  Miami’s quarterback, Austin Boucher finished the day completing 7/16 for 80 yards and two picks.  The ground attack for the Redhawks wasn’t any better, gaining just seven total yards on 29 attempts.  One stat that says it all for the Redhawks is that Miami is averaging just seven first downs per game currently.

In their last ten games in the month of September, the Redhawks are just 3-7 against the spread, and in their last 11 non-conference games, Miami is just 3-8 against the number.  Currently on the year, the Redhawks are just 1-2 against the spread.  Illinois is just 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games against MAC opponents, and this season the Illini are 2-1 against the spread overall.

This is a somewhat tricky call.  The Illini could probably name their score here (and yes, that is saying something) but the Illini have to travel to Lincoln the following week to face the Huskers for their Big Ten opener.  I’m going to back the Illini here, if for no other reason than I cannot see putting anything behind this Miami team at this point, but personally I am staying away from this one.

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