Archive for August 30th, 2017

2017 Illinois vs Ball State

Posted on August 30, 2017. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sporting News | Tags: , , , , |

Illini host MAC’s Ball State in opener

September 1, 2017

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Game Preview

Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2nd
Game Time:12:00 pm ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
Network: BTN

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Illinois, there’s no reason to not start out hot. Or is there? Time for week one actions….

Illinois is (1-0) all-time against the Ball State Cardinals. There last (and only) meeting was in 2007, Illinois won 28-17 at Memorial Stadium. Ball State is (3-36-1) against teams in the Big Ten. All three wins have come against the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington -or- Indianapolis.

Not to start the season being over confident about the Illini or to appear condescending, but we all know there’s still work to be done on an inconsistent offense from last season, and the defense that needs fine tuning.

This week, Mike Neu’s Ball State Cardinals will travel to Champaign to open their season with the Fighting Illini. The MAC West’s worst team a year ago, Ball State comes into the 2017 campaign after posting a 4-8 record last season. While that’s not anything to brag about, it should be noted that 4 of the 8 losses the Cardinals had were by 7 points or less (2 were by 3 points or less).

The Ball State offense creates big holes to roll through, and that’s not a plus for an Illinois defense needing to overcome the loss of all four starters up front. They can flat out run the football and having a quarterback as mobile as Riley Neal makes that an easier feat to overcome. Neal was the third best rushing QB in the MAC, averaging 4.3 yards per carry, totaling 543 yards, and scoring 8 touchdowns. In the backfield is James Gilbert, who ran for 1332 yards (3rd in MAC) averaging 5.3 yards per carry (8th in MAC) and 12 touchdowns (T1st in MAC) in 2016. If there’s one thing that Illinois needs to defend against on Saturday, it’s the run.

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On contrast, Illinois did not defend against the run well last season. Ranked 103rd in the nation in average rushing yards surrendered (219.2 yds/g), Ball State’s experienced rushing attack will cause some problems for the Illini on Saturday. The good news though, is that Illinois has a new JUCO transfer starting at linebacker in Del’Shawn Phillips. We will see how Hardy Nickerson will have his defense prepared to handle the Cardinal run-game…

In short, the Illini must win this opener against Ball State but as we know, it will not be easy. The Cardinals will be a tough competitor who will not lay down and surrender. With Western Kentucky and a trip to South Florida up next, nothing is given to this Illini team and they must show up and play four quarters.

Follow us live for in-game updates and for our Big Ten Week preview, click here.

 

 

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2017 BIG Ten Week 1

Posted on August 30, 2017. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sporting News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten Week 1 Kickoff…

September 1, 2017

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follow back at @PrezRo365

It’s that time… BIG TEN Football time!!!!  Who will snag an opening day victory?

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 Big game going on in Arlington, Texas as Michigan takes on Florida (Arlington, Texas). Coming into this game Wolverines have won all three match-ups, including a 41-7 victory in the last encounter in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl after the 2015 season—Harbaugh’s first at Michigan.

 Then there’s Akron vs. Penn State… aka Best head coach match-up

 A BIG TEN early contest features a clash of coordinators featuring Indiana vs Ohio State.

 Purdue host Louisville at Lucas Oil Stadium. In this game, be sure to keep an eye out for David Blough, who injured his shoulder early in camp but is said to be okay, and early Heisman favorite, Lamar Jackson.

 

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Other notable contest….
Buffalo at Minnesota (Thursday)
Washington at Rutgers (Friday)
Utah State at Wisconsin (Friday)
Ball State at Illinois*
Wyoming at Iowa
Maryland at Texas
Nevada at Northwestern
Bowling Green at Michigan State
Arkansas State at Nebraska
Akron at Penn State

* we will be LIVE at this game.

WEEK 1 NOTES PROVIDED BY THE BIG TEN
 Few schools have a more daunting opener than Maryland, which plays at Texas. Yes, the Longhorns have struggled in recent years, going 16-21 the last three seasons and missing the postseason each of the last two years. But the Longhorns have a new coach in former Ohio State OC Tom Herman, who went 22-4 the last two years at Houston. And UT always has talent … lots of talent. The Terps are 0-3 all-time vs. Texas, last playing in 1978 in the Sun Bowl. Maryland last was in Austin in 1959. Interesting fact: The Terrapins have been shutout in each of their three meetings vs. UT, losing by a combined 102-0.

 Like Maryland, Rutgers also faces a big task in Week 1 with Washington coming to Piscataway for a Friday night affair. The Scarlet Knights got an up-close look at the Huskies last year, losing 48-13 in Seattle as U-Dub went on to earn a playoff bid. Chris Petersen will have another good team in 2017 led by Heisman contending QB Jake Browning.

Purdue will travel south on I-65 while Louisville will travel north on I-65 and they will meet in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Good storylines here. It’s the debut of new Boiler coach and Louisville native son Jeff Brohm, who was a former star U of L signal-caller who also once was an assistant to Cardinal coach Bobby Petrino.

 Speaking of debuts, P.J. Fleck will make his at Minnesota vs. Buffalo on Thursday. The hype and mojo around Fleck’s start has been building for months. Get out your oar and row along as the Gophers take on Buffalo. The Bulls are coached by Lance Leipold, who won six Division III national titles at Wisconsin-Whitewater before landing the Buffalo job in 2015.

The opening week also includes a rare Big Ten contest, as Ohio State visits Indiana on Thursday night. The Buckeyes have dominated this series. Indiana went 2-1-1 vs. the Buckeyes from 1987-90, including a victory in Columbus in 1987. Since then, the Hoosiers have lost 22 in a row to the Buckeyes. This is a big bite for new IU coach Tom Allen in his first game as head coach in Bloomington. This will mark the first time in 41 years that Ohio State will open against a Big Ten foe (1976 vs. Michigan State) and it will be the first time in 42 years the Buckeyes will open on the road vs. a Big Ten opponent (1975 vs. Michigan State).

 

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