menu-toggle Created with Sketch.
Live 10

Minnesota vs. Illinois Prediction, Game Preview

Embed
<iframe src="https://campusinsiders.com/videos/s5aTN5NjE6IUPew6ejQt0I4b-GM6T78U/?video-embed=1" width="640" height="360" style="border:0"></iframe>

Minnesota vs. Illinois prediction and game preview. The Golden Gophers try to win a third straight game when they visit the Fighting Illini on Saturday.


Minnesota vs. Illinois Game Preview

When: Saturday, Oct. 29 – Noon ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Ill.
TV Broadcast: Big Ten Network

Minnesota has won back-to-back games and is now one victory away from becoming bowl-eligible. That said, the latest win wasn’t all that impressive. After beating Maryland, which didn’t have its starting quarterback, two weeks ago, the Golden Gophers trailed Big Ten-worst Rutgers by a point in the fourth quarter last week. They survived when Emmit Carpenter hit a 28-yard field goal with six seconds remaining.

Illinois’ weekend went much, much worse. It fell 41-8 at Michigan while finishing with just 172 yards of total offense. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jeff George Jr. – son of the former Illinois great and No. 1 overall NFL draft pick – didn’t complete a pass in the first half in his debut. He could be under center again this week, as Wes Lunt is dealing with a back injury and Chayce Crouch has a potentially serious shoulder issue.

What To Know About Minnesota

The Gophers appear to be playing their third straight game against a team dealing with quarterback problems. They jumped out to a 21-3 lead last week before squandering it against a Rutgers team still trying to figure out its quarterback carousel. Still, Minnesota ranks third in the Big Ten in yards allowed per play at 4.86 despite ranking 11th in the conference in pass defense.

Rodney Smith has run for at least 100 yards in each of his last two games and is tied for the conference lead with eight touchdowns. His 100.1 yards per game also are third in the Big Ten despite him averaging just 19 carries per contest.

What To Know About Illinois

The Fighting Illini likely will get a large dose of Smith with them ranking 11th in the Big Ten in run defense. They allowed 270 yards on the ground against the Wolverines and are giving up an average of 238.8 rushing yards over their last five games.

Illinois’ biggest concern is getting its own offense going, though. George struggled mightily in his first start, finishing 4-of-15 for 95 yards – 43 of them going to Malik Turner on a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. The running game finished with just 77 yards, and 45 of those came on a single run by Ke’Shawn Vaughn.

Advantages

Offense: Minnesota – Mitch Leidner has one touchdown and five interceptions in his last four games, but Smith gives the Gophers the slight edge here.

Defense: Minnesota – The Gophers’ 15 forced turnovers are tied for the most in the Big Ten.

Special Teams: Minnesota – Carpenter is one of the most accurate kickers in the conference.

Coaching: Even – Lovie Smith has NFL experience, but Tracy Claeys has Minnesota in better position at the moment.

Intangibles: Minnesota – The Gophers ran for 255 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s 32-23 win over Illinois.

Matchup To Watch

Smith vs. Illinois’ run defense

If Illinois’ offense continues to stall and punt it away, Minnesota will be looking to give the ball to Smith so he can grind out yardage. It also would be hoping to break a couple given the Fighting Illini’s struggles stopping the run.

Betting Odds

Spread: Minnesota -5
Over/Under: No line as of post

Minnesota vs. Illinois Prediction

This will be one of your classic Big Ten grind-it-out battles. Smith gets the best of Illinois, and Minnesota pulls out a close victory.

Minnesota vs. Illinois final score prediction: Minnesota 21, Illinois 17.

MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 9

Related Posts

Featured

  • Video
  • February 24, 2017
  • Campus Insiders

Alabama Football Players Eat $500,000 Worth Of Food

In 2014, the NCAA ruled that scholarship athletes are allowed unlimited food. Alabama took advantage and fed its athletes $838,187 in meals and snacks throughout the 2015-16 season, including more than $500,000 for football players alone. Campus Insiders breaks down how much the Crimson Tide spent per person just to eat.

Live Events

All times are Eastern Time Zone.

Live Schedule

All times are Eastern Time Zone.
Clear Filters
Friday, February 24, 2017
TimeET Title Category Network
6:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
7:00 pm
Union at Colgate
Ice Hockey (M)
Live Now
Ice Hockey (M) Patriot League Network
7:00 pm Boxing Patriot League Network
8:45 pm Softball TheW.TV
9:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
9:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
9:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
9:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
9:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
9:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
Saturday, February 25, 2017
TimeET Title Category Network
12:00 am Lacrosse (M) Patriot League Network
12:00 pm Basketball (M) Patriot League Network
12:00 pm Lacrosse (M) Patriot League Network
12:00 pm Lacrosse (M) Patriot League Network
1:00 pm Lacrosse (W) Patriot League Network
1:00 pm
Siena at Colgate
Lacrosse (W)
Lacrosse (W) Patriot League Network
1:00 pm Lacrosse (W) Patriot League Network
1:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
2:00 pm Basketball (M) Patriot League Network
2:00 pm Basketball (W) Patriot League Network
2:00 pm Track and Field Mountain West Network
2:00 pm Basketball (W) Patriot League Network
2:00 pm Basketball (W) Patriot League Network
2:00 pm Basketball (M) Patriot League Network
3:00 pm Ice Hockey (W) Patriot League Network
3:00 pm Basketball (W) Patriot League Network
3:00 pm Basketball (W) Mountain West Network
3:15 pm Softball TheW.TV
3:30 pm
WCC This Week
Basketball (M)
Basketball (M) TheW.TV
4:00 pm Basketball (M) TheW.TV
4:00 pm Basketball (W) Mountain West Network
4:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
4:00 pm Basketball (W) TheW.TV
4:00 pm Rugby TheW.TV
4:00 pm Basketball (M) Mountain West Network
5:00 pm Basketball (W) Mountain West Network
5:00 pm Basketball (W) TheW.TV
5:00 pm Basketball (W) TheW.TV
5:00 pm Baseball Mountain West Network
5:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
5:00 pm Basketball (W) Mountain West Network
5:15 pm Basketball (W) Mountain West Network
6:15 pm Basketball (M) Mountain West Network
7:00 pm Ice Hockey (M) Patriot League Network
7:00 pm
UNLV at Nevada
Basketball (W)
Basketball (W) Mountain West Network
7:00 pm
RPI at Colgate
Ice Hockey (M)
Ice Hockey (M) Patriot League Network
7:00 pm
Bucknell at Navy
Basketball (W)
Basketball (W) Patriot League Network
7:15 pm Basketball (W) Mountain West Network
7:30 pm Basketball (M) Patriot League Network
7:45 pm Softball TheW.TV
9:00 pm Basketball (M) Mountain West Network
9:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
9:00 pm Basketball (M) TheW.TV
9:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
9:00 pm Baseball TheW.TV
10:00 pm Basketball (M) TheW.TV
10:00 pm Basketball (M) TheW.TV
10:15 pm Basketball (M) Mountain West Network

Popular Posts

  • College Basketball
  • February 20, 2017
  • Jeff Bartl

Livin’ B1G: Pursuit Of The Double Bye

Earning a double bye in the Big Ten tournament likely would lock up an NCAA Tournament berth for a bubble team. We examine which squads need it most and delve into the weekend action in this edition of Livin' B1G.

  • College Football
  • February 16, 2017
  • Robert Judin

Hey Judes: LSU Getting Back On Track With 2018 Recruiting Class

This week's edition of Hey Judes analyzes some hidden gems in the 2018 recruiting class, as they've fallen victim to the three-star curse. Plus, LSU appears to be getting back on track after a brief stumble.