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Way Too Early 2023 Illini Football win totals



Alex Palczewski

TwoWay Too Early 2023 Illini Football Win Totals

The Fighting Illini are not a dark horse in the final season of the Big Ten West. There was a point Illinois had a legitimate path to the Big Ten Championship game and the College Football Playoff. That said, a few things need to go right for the Illini to succeed in 2023. Quarterback Luke Altmyer has to play consistently for an entire season. Also, the Illini need a deep threat at receiver to emerge. Defensively, the rebuilt secondary must gel and play well to compete.

If those things come together, the Illini could find themselves in Indianapolis playing for a Big Ten Championship. Here is some way too early 2023 Illini Football win totals.


Sep 2 (Sat) TBD Home Toledo Champaign, Ill: The Illini open at home against MAC perennial power Toledo. Star quarterback DeQuan Finn is a lot to handle, but the Illini are bigger, faster, and stronger. The Rockets are going to be without Desjuan Johnson and Jamal Hines defensively. Illinois should have no problem picking up the win in its home opener. W

Sep 9 (Sat) TBD Away Kansas Lawrence, Kan: Illinois’ game against the Jayhawks is the first toss-up of the season. Kansas head coach Lance Leipold got Kansas to six wins, a national ranking, and a bowl game for the first time since 2008. Kansas, behind quarterback Jaylon Daniels, can flat score. However, Kansas had one of the worst defenses in college football last year. They were especially bad against the run. That could be trouble for Kansas. Illinois wins one of the funner games of the early season.   W

Key game against the Nittany Lions

Sep 16 (Sat) TBD Home Penn State Champaign, Ill: The Nittany Lions won this game in 2021, so Illinois seeks to get the win back in Champaign. Like Kansas, this is another toss-up. Penn State has a lot of talent at the skill positions. Running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen returned after combining for over 1,900 yards and 22 touchdowns. Also, the Nittany Lions welcome Kent State transfer Dante Cephas. In addition, the defense returns everyone. The Nittany Lions are looking to dethrone Michigan. A lot of this game rides on how good blue chipper Drew Allar is. L

Sep 23 (Sat) TBD Home Florida Atlantic Champaign, Ill: After what should be a tough game against Penn State, the Illini host Florida Atlantic and new head coach Tom Herman. The former Texas coach is going to have the Owls ready to play, but Illinois should win this one with defense.  W

Sep 30 (Sat) TBD Away Purdue West Lafayette, Ind: The Illini want to win the Ryan Walters Bowl, a.k.a the Purdue Cannon game, for a couple of reasons. First, who doesn’t like to stick it to their old coordinator? Second, last season’s loss to the Boilermakers essentially cost them a shot at the Big Ten West. Third, Illinois has won just four times in the last 12 years. Purdue lost quarterback Aidan O’Connell to the NFL Draft and has a host of question marks on defense. This game is important because  Illinois has a better roster, and they need to win games like this to make a statement.  W

Second Half of the Season

Oct 6 (Fri) TBD Home Nebraska Champaign, Ill: This game is not a toss-up, but new head coach Matt Rhule will have the Huskers ready to play. Nebraska has a lot of new players, including Georgia Tech transfer quarterback Jeff Sims. There should not be the mistakes common with former head coach Scott Frost. That said, the Illini have the better players. Illinois wins going away if they play as if its players are better. W

Oct 14 (Sat) TBD Away Maryland College Park, Md: This game is a little tricky. Maryland could have one of the best offenses in the Big Ten, led by senior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. On the other hand, can they stop anyone defensively? The Terps were not a bad defensive team last year, finishing 43rd in total defense. Games like these demonstrate whether or not you are truly ready to contend or not. The Illini win a nail bitter here. W

Can the Illini beat Wisconsin twice in a row?

Oct 21 (Sat) TBD Home Wisconsin Champaign, Ill: If the Illini are bowl-eligible by the time they host the Badgers, Bret Bielema and his staff would be on cloud nine. That said, this game is the most difficult game on the schedule to predict. Wisconsin has a new coach (Luke Fickell), a new offensive coordinator (Phil Longo), and a new outlook on what the program should be. The question is whether or not the Badgers have the personnel to run what both Longo and Fickell want to run offensively and defensively. Wisconsin also wants its win back from last season’s 34-10 shellacking at Camp Randall. The Badgers get the win back in another close game for the Illini. L

Nov 4 (Sat) TBD Away Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn: The Golden Gophers are a  bit of an enigma coming into the season. We’ll see how well head coach PJ Fleck has recruited. Former quarterback Tanner Morgan seemed to be at Minnesota long enough to get a Ph.D. The Gophers can run the football no matter who is in the backfield. That said, Illinois should be able to go on the road and get the win in this game. The Gophers are tough defensively, but the Illini have too much firepower. W

Revenge game against the Hoosiers

Nov 11 (Sat) TBD Home Indiana Champaign, Ill: The Illini have this game circled on the schedule. Last season’s controversial loss still sticks with Illinois. The Blue and Orange are going to be fired up for this game. Illinois wins this game big. W

Nov 18 (Sat) TBD Away Iowa Iowa City, Iowa: Can the Fighting Illini win two in a row against the Hawkeyes? Despite winning last year’s game, they are 2-8 in its last ten games against Iowa. Everyone wants to see what the offense for the Hawkeyes looks like this season. This game could be for the Big Ten West. Illinois pulls out the tough road win. W

Nov 25 (Sat) TBD Home Northwestern Champaign, Ill: After losing six in a row, the Illini have won the last two Land of Lincoln trophies.  Usually, Northwestern comes from nowhere to have an awesome season. Unfortunately, that might not be the case for the Wildcats this season. The streak continues, and the Illini win three Land of Lincoln trophies in a row.  W


10-2 (7-2 Big Ten) Expectations are high in Champaign, as they should be. 2023 Illini Football will contend for the last Big Ten West title and a spot in the Big Ten Championship game.


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.