College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Illinois vs. Nebraska 11/21/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Illinois visits Nebraska on 11/21/2020 at 12:00PM.

Illinois and Nebraska face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Illinois has a record of 1-3 this season. Nebraska is 1-2 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Illinois Team Defense Preview

Illinois has had 43 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.74 plays per drive. Illinois lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. Offensives should lick their lips given their inability to stop anyone, this is one of the worst defenses in the country. The Defensive Coordinator coaching search threads on Illinois message boards are flights of fantasy. Passing plays make up 47.77% of their opponents’ play calls.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

Illinois is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.29 yards per carry. Sorry to say this about this front seven, but the best way to make an average offensive line look good is for them to face this horrid front seven. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. Long breakout runs against this Defense are far too common. This is a very porous rushing defense that is incapable of preventing a situation where their safeties chase down a running back or quarterback.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Illinois has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Illinois Team Offense Preview

Illinois has had 43 total drives this season and they generate 5.3 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Passing plays make up 39.04% of their play calls.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Illinois is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.83 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the Illinois Offense. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Illinois has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Nebraska Team Defense Preview

Nebraska has had 31 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 6.74 plays per drive. The struggle is real. Nebraska cannot find a way to get opposing offenses off the field. Three and outs are not common and if the team needs a three-and-out late in a game to get the ball back, it is just not happening.Nebraska has shown an inability to stop defenses from converting on 4th Downs and they let opponents get into manageable 3rd Down situations where an RPO may be especially deadly. Passing plays make up 43.06% of their opponents’ play calls.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Nebraska is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.97 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average defense when it comes to how offensive lines control or fail to control them on the ground. This is also a team that is allowing running backs and quarterbacks to get to the second-level in an average fashion. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Nebraska is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Nebraska Team Offense Preview

Nebraska has had 33 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.7 plays per drive. Nebraska runs a lot of plays per drive and this could wear an opposing defense down. Nebraska has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Passing plays make up 45.21% of their play calls.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Nebraska is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Nebraska can take credit for 3.13 yards per carry. This offensive line may be underappreciated, even though the running backs get the attention. The Nebraska coaching staff really deserves credit for how they prepared this offensive line, but they could be a little bit better! The offensive line and running back corps deserve a lot of credit for gashing defenses with their running game like the way they have this season. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Defenses have been able to impose their will on the Nebraska Offense this season. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Nebraska has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Illinois Roster

The Players to Watch for Illinois

Coran Taylor QB 6-2 190

This season, Coran Taylor has put up 379 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 132.0thus far this season. Coran Taylor has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Coran Taylor has 74.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 73.55 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 36.0 times this season, which puts him in the 79.86 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Chase Brown RB 5-11 195

This season, Chase Brown has 247 rushing yards on 35 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 0 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Chase Brown picked up 3 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 2 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Josh Imatorbhebhe WR 6-2 220

This season, Josh Imatorbhebhe picked up 144 yards. He caught the ball 11 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Owen Carney Jr. DL 6-3 260

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Illinois, Owen Carney Jr. has 13 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 86.99 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 3 times this season, which put him in the 92.54 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Tony Adams DB 6-0 205

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Illinois, Tony Adams had 28 tackles which puts him in the 85.46 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 34.12 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Tony Adams as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 39.44 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Nebraska Roster

The Players to Watch for Nebraska

Luke McCaffrey QB 6-2 200

This season, Luke McCaffrey has put up 300 yards and 1 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 127.4thus far this season. Luke McCaffrey has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Luke McCaffrey has 196.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 90.1 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 30.0 times this season, which puts him in the 73.55 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Dedrick Mills RB 5-11 220

This season, Dedrick Mills has 95 rushing yards on 31 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 2 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Dedrick Mills picked up 33 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 6 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Wan’Dale Robinson WR 5-10 185

This season, Wan’Dale Robinson picked up 92 yards. He caught the ball 15 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Ty Robinson DL 6-6 310

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Nebraska, Ty Robinson has 11 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 69.21 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 32.27 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Marquel Dismuke S 6-2 215

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Nebraska, Marquel Dismuke had 25 tackles which puts him in the 80.23 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 76.48 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Marquel Dismuke as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 39.44 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Dicaprio Bootle CB 5-10 195

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Nebraska, Dicaprio Bootle had 12 tackles which puts him in the 65.25 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 36.32 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Dicaprio Bootle as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 38.84 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Illinois vs. Nebraska Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Illinois 24 Nebraska 38

Spread Pick: Illinois +17 -109 5Dimes
Moneyline Pick: Nebraska -637 SportsInteraction
Total Pick: Over 59 -106 Pinnacle Sports