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Analyzing the Odds: Illinois hosts Nebraska Friday night



Illinois v Nebraska preview
Purdue Boilermakers running back Devin Mockobee (45) is tackled by a group of Illinois Fighting Illini players during the NCAA football game, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue Boilermakers won 44-19.

Can Illinois find its first Big Ten win against Nebraska?

After a fire in the horseshoe of Memorial Stadium Tuesday, Friday night’s game between Illinois and Nebraska seemed to be in doubt. However, the Illinois DIA cleared the stadium for play, and the game is on for tomorrow night. Both the Cornhuskers and Illini are searching for their first Big Ten wins this season. While the Cornhuskers need to find ways to score points, the Illini need to eliminate the mistakes.

Quarterback Luke Altmyer has at least one turnover in every game this season. On a positive note, he hasn’t thrown an interception since his four-interception debacle against Penn State. Nebraska, meanwhile, has scored 17 points in Big Ten play. Cornhuskers offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield needs to figure out how to generate some points and settle on a quarterback.

Keys to Victory:

Feed the Beast: True freshman running back Kaden Feagin has seen his workload increase in the last couple of games, and he’s made the most of them. Last week, Feagin led the Illini in rushing against Purdue in a losing effort. Feagin shows good vision and burst through the hole. With Reggie Love dealing with injuries and Josh McCray’s inconsistency, give the ball to the young fella.

Same old song and dance: Illinois is the better team in this game. There’s an argument that they were also better than Purdue going into that game. However, mistakes, penalties, missed opportunities, and sloppy play crept up, and Purdue took advantage. Nebraska is unsettled offensively with issues at quarterback. Illinois must button up on both sides of the ball and play crisp, disciplined football.


Betting Lines: Illinois +3.5

Over/Under: 43

Money Line: Nebraska +139/Illinois -166

Why Illinois wins: Luke Altmyer plays his cleanest game of the season with no turnovers, and the offensive line establishes the line of scrimmage. Though Nebraska is tough against the run, receiver Isaiah Williams has his best game of the season, and one of the freshmen –Malik Elzy or Kenari Wilcher — has their coming out party. Defensively, they take advantage of an offense looking to find itself. The Law Firm play as well as they played against Penn State.

Armchair Illini is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering University of Illinois Athletics owned and operated by Alex Kyi. Dante Pryor has been writing about College Football for years on Saturday Blitz and is now the Lead Football Author for Armchair Illini.