Rutgers vs Illinois

Game Day is upon is. Rutgers (1-0) will host Illinois (1-0) in the second game of a home and home series with the Big 10 adversary. Illinois won the opener for both teams last year in Champaign. Kickoff is set for Noon and the match is to be televised on ESPN2.

Illinois at Rutgers

TV/radio:
12 p.m., ESPN2 (EST), WOR-AM (710) (EST), 12:00 p.m. (EST), WRSU-AM (1450) (EST)

Records:
Illinois 1-0, Rutgers 1-0

Series: Illinois 1-0

Last meeting: Illinois won 33-30 in overtime in Champaign on Sept. 3, 2005.

Line: Rutgers by 11.

Illinois outlook: Look for senior quarterback Tim Brasic to get it rolling early for the Illini while freshman heir to the throne Juice Williams will see some time.  The key for the Illini is to establish E.B. Halsey and Rashard Mendenhall against a defense that, outside of 2 missed tackles last week, fared well against the supposedly improved UNC rushing attack.

Rutgers outlook: Rutgers provided a glimpse for opponents intent on keying in on Brian Leonard: you had better scheme for others.  The home opener should answer more questions for the offense as key contributors are expected to emerge.  Look for Clark Harris to see an increased role, look for Tiquan Underwood to see more action in the middle of the field, and don't be surprised to see an additional 3 or 4 true Fr receive their initial collegiate playing time of their young careers.

Rutgers Questions: The Scarlet Knights may be downplaying the supposed revenge factor, but last year's loss has to be in their mind.  Can the Scarlet Knights end things early enough to thwart any possibility of a similar recurrence? 

Don't expect another 200-yard+ outburst by Ray Rice.  Instead, expect others to emerge offensively as the suddenly resurgent program shows more of its offensive star power.  Which others, in particular?

One of the prime reasons for the disappearance of Jersey's finest last week was the much improved play of Sr CB Derrick Roberson.  Has Roby become a consistent lock-down corner to depend upon? 

What will happen at the much maligned SAM spot this week? Brandon Renkhart's story is a feel-good one, but his on the field play last week left the door open for some of the youngsters to step right in.  Does anybody truly want this job?

Can Rutgers improve upon its 3rd down defensive inefficiency of last week?

TEAM AVERAGES & NCAA RANKS
OFFENSE TM PER GAME AVERAGE / NCAA RANK
Total Yards ILL
 

526.0 / 7th

 
RUT
 

375.0 / 54th

Passing Yards ILL
 

181.0 / 68th

RUT
 

158.0 / 90th

Rushing Yards ILL
 

345.0 / 4th

RUT
 

217.0 / 23rd

Points Scored ILL
 

42.0 / 20th

RUT
 

21.0 / 67th

 
 
Individual Leaders
Illinois Passing
  CMP% YDS TD INT
T. Brasic 76.5 149 0 0
J. Williams 50.0 25 0 0
Rutgers Passing
  CMP% YDS TD INT
M. Teel 70.0 145 0 0
Illinois Rushing
  CAR YDS AVG TD
P. Thomas Jr. 15 126 8.4 2
E. Halsey 11 82 7.5 1
Rutgers Rushing
  CAR YDS AVG TD
R. Rice 31 201 6.5 3
B. Leonard 6 25 4.2 0
Illinois Receiving
  REC YDS AVG TD
R. Mendenhall 4 50 12.5 0
D. McPhearson 2 37 18.5 0
Rutgers Receiving
  REC YDS AVG TD
S. Tucker 3 46 15.3 0
D. Campbell 3 38 12.7 0
 

 


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