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Illinois Football: Inside Scoop on Wisconsin from Badger Notes



Illinois Football: Inside Scoop on Wisconsin from Badger Notes
Oct 14, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini wide receiver Pat Bryant (13) runs for a first half touchdown against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football: Inside Scoop on Wisconsin from Badger Notes

Illinois Football is set to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in Champaign this Saturday. Wisconsin is in their first year under Luke Fickell and currently sit 4-2 for the season. Illinois is looking to put together another strong performance after a solid win on the road against Maryland. Last year, Illinois Football dominated Wisconsin at Camp Randall 34-10. However, Wisconsin has a new coaching staff and plays a different style than usual. We were able to get a inside scoop from Dillon Graff, of

What’s Going on with Tanner Mordecai?

“The Badgers brought in SMU transfer Tanner Mordecai to lead the transition into the “air raid” offense under offensive coordinator Phil Longo. Last week, we learned following the Iowa game that he broke his hand, requiring surgery and will be out indefinitely.

Enter redshirt freshman Braedyn Locke, another off-season transfer portal addition. Players and coaches laud him as an insane student of the game — and an accurate passer. Locke was a decorated passer coming out of high school, throwing for a record 11K plus yards in Texas 6A — so there’s some pedigree here.

The downside, other than inexperience, is that he doesn’t have the same kind of mobility as Mordecai and is more of a pocket passer. There’s a fair amount of confidence that he can get the job done for Wisconsin, but to say this isn’t ideal would be an understatement when you consider how inconsistent the offense has been thus far.”

Illinois Dominated Wisconsin last year. What has Luke Fickell Changed?

“The last time these two teams matched up in Madison, Wisconsin’s head coach Paul Chryst was in the unemployment line on Monday. While it was one of the most maddening and frustrating losses I can remember as a fan, it was a blessing in disguise.

That loss spurned a change by Athletic Director Chris McIntosh that, in my opinion, has the program headed in the right direction again after a three-year downturn. As the only head coach in history to lead a non-Power 5 program to the college football playoffs, Luke Fickell brought instant credibility to Wisconsin on a more national scale.  Recruiting has rebounded, the Badgers landed quite a few noteworthy players in the transfer portal, and perhaps the most shocking of all, he overhauled the offense and brought in someone to run the Dairy Raid offense in Madison.

Key Wisconsin weakness that Illinois needs to Exploit?

Wisconsin’s front seven is rather unimpressive. That hasn’t been the case in over a decade — so from a fan perspective, this might be an overreaction. But the defensive line, pass-rush, and run defense all leave something to be desired.

If the Illini offensive line can hold their own — it’ll be a barn burner

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Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.