Week nine of college football continues as Illinois travels to Ross-Ade Stadium to take on Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 12:00 P.M. This will be the 95th meeting between these two teams with Purdue winning each of the last three meetings. Specifically, Purdue managed to win last season's lone meeting on the road by the score of 46-7.
Illinois Looks To Build Off Of Last Week's Shocking UpsetThe Illinois Fighting Illini have been a pleasant surprise so far this season. Despite still having a losing record, oddsmakers only thought that Illinois would only win around four games. However, Illinois has already won three games including a shocking upset against #6 Wisconsin last week at home. In that game, Illinois trailed by nine points with less than six minutes left before rallying to win by one point on a field goal as time expired. Now, Illinois is an underdog once again and it will look for another conference upset in this game.
Leading the Fighting Illini offensively is junior quarterback Brandon Peters who has looked good so far this season. Specifically, he has thrown for 971 passing yards and 12 passing touchdowns. In addition, Peters also has two rushing touchdowns. However, Peters only has completed 56.1% of his passes so he has been a bit inaccurate as a whole. If Peters plans on playing even better moving forward, he will need to be more precise with his throws.
Illinois' biggest threat on defense is junior linebacker Jake Hansen who has been great through the first seven games of the season. Specifically, he has one interception and 3.5 sacks. In addition, he also has a whopping seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Last week, Hansen had six solo tackles along with two forced fumbles so he will look to continue knocking the ball loose on Saturday.
Purdue Continues To UnderachieveThe Purdue Boilermakers have been very underwhelming so far this season. Specifically, oddsmakers projected that Purdue would win seven games by the end of the season. Entering this game, Purdue would need to win out in order to even match that projected win total. With a 2-5 record, the Boilermakers look like they will definitely miss out on a bowl game. However, this game will be against one of the worst teams in the Big Ten so perhaps Purdue can put together a solid 60-minute performance at home on Saturday in order to keep its bowl game hopes realistically alive.
Leading the Boilermakers offensively is freshman wide receiver David Bell who has looked amazing so far this season. Specifically, he already has 39 receptions and 635 receiving yards which are both team-highs by a wide margin. In addition, he has also scored four touchdowns so he is a serious threat in the red zone. Bell's role will continue to expand as long as star receiver Rondale Moore continues to miss time due to injury. With Moore currently being listed as doubtful for this game, expect Bell to get a lot of targets.
Purdue's biggest threat on defense is freshman defensive end George Karlaftis who has been solid so far this season. Specifically, he has a team-high five sacks along with 16 solo tackles. In addition, he also has one interception. Last week, Karlaftis had a sack as he dominated the line of scrimmage against a ranked Iowa team. Now, he will get to feast on an Illinois team that has had issues protecting the quarterback this season.
- Fighting Illini are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
- Fighting Illini are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- Boilermakers are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
- Boilermakers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in October.