Illinois Fighting Illini (1-2) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 1, 2016, 3:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Nebraska Cornhuskers -21 -- Over/Under:
The Illinois Fighting Illini and Nebraska Cornhuskers meet in a Big Ten matchup Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The Illinois Fighting Illini take the road for the first time and hope to get back to a .500 record. Wes Lunt is completing 62.2 percent of his passes for 665 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Lunt has eight touchdown passes in his last five games. Malik Turner and Ainslie Johnson have combined for 308 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Justin Hardee has seven receptions. The Illinois Fighting Illini ground game is averaging 157.3 yards per contest, and Ke'Shawn Vaughn leads the way with 187 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Illinois is allowing 28.3 points and 354.7 yards per game. Hardy Nickerson leads the Fighting Illini with 29 tackles, Carroll Phillips has four sacks and Taylor Barton has one interception.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have a chance to start 5-0 for the second time in three years. Tommy Armstrong Jr. is completing 56.6 percent of his passes for 931 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception. Armstrong has moved the chains 42 times through the air this season. Alonzo Moore and Jordan Westerkamp have combined for 473 receiving yards and six touchdowns while Cethan Carter has nine receptions. The Nebraska Cornhuskers ground game is averaging 242 yards per contest, and Devine Ozigbo leads the way with 283 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Nebraska is allowing 18 points and 366 yards per game. Kieron Williams leads the Cornhuskers with 30 tackles, Ross Dzuris has 3.5 sacks and Nathan Gerry has two interceptions.
The Fighting Illini are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games in October and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Cornhuskers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 home games and 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
This is a lot of points to lay considering Illinois has had two weeks to prepare for this game and won last years meeting by one point. Nebraska has shown it's a sleeper Big Ten contender and is playing great football right now. But three touchdowns with a team that has nice under the radar talent and has had an extra week? Not to mention the Cornhuskers may start looking ahead after a strong start.
I don't love this game, but I'll take my free touchdowns if forced to pick.