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Illinois vs. Rutgers 11/14/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Illinois visits Rutgers on 11/14/2020 at 12:00PM.

Illinois and Rutgers 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 0-3 this season. Rutgers is 1-2 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Illinois Team Defense Preview

Illinois has had 31 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.87 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 46.70% of their opponents’ play calls.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Illinois is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Illinois can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 3.21 yards per carry. This defense lets offensive lines have too much control over them on the ground, too much push from the opposing offensive line. 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 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. Illinois is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Illinois Team Offense Preview

Illinois has had 31 total drives this season and they generate 5.0 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Illinois is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Passing plays make up 45.81% of their play calls.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

On first downs, getting ahead of the chains is crucial and running the ball well on first down can get a team there, Illinois has done a good job avoiding the negative yardage rushing plays. 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. Illinois can take credit for 2.66 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground 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.

Rutgers Team Defense Preview

Rutgers has had 36 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.28 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive opponents run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. 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 Rutgers message boards are flights of fantasy. Rutgers opponents pass the football 48.95% of the time.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

Rutgers opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.02 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

Disruptive plays are a part of the fabric of this team’s defensive effort. Game changing plays that drive Offensive Coordinators and Quarterbacks crazy, they find ways to deliver. Rutgers should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Rutgers is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Rutgers Team Offense Preview

Rutgers has had 39 total drives this season and they generate 4.77 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Rutgers is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Passing plays make up 53.23% of their play calls.Rutgers tends to pass more than other teams.

Rutgers 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. Rutgers can take credit for 2.14 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. 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 Rutgers Offense this season. Front sevens of opposing defenses are causing a lot of problems. Rutgers is a better passing team than running 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 76.16 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 36.0 times this season, which puts him in the 82.03 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Mike Epstein RB 6-0 205

This season, Mike Epstein has 207 rushing yards on 32 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 2 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Mike Epstein picked up 29 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 129 yards. He caught the ball 9 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 11 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 89.2 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 93.88 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 26 tackles which puts him in the 85.53 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 34.52 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 40.1 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Rutgers Roster

The Players to Watch for Rutgers

Noah Vedral QB 6-1 195

This season, Noah Vedral has put up 464 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 106.2thus far this season. Noah Vedral has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Noah Vedral has 55.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 67.79 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 30.0 times this season, which puts him in the 76.87 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Isaih Pacheco RB 5-11 210

This season, Isaih Pacheco has 153 rushing yards on 35 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 2 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Isaih Pacheco picked up 75 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 12 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Bo Melton WR 5-11 190

This season, Bo Melton picked up 181 yards. He caught the ball 14 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 2 receiving touchdowns this season.

CJ Onyechi DL 6-0 248

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Rutgers, CJ Onyechi has 13 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 3 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 83.78 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 85.91 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Brendon White DB 6-2 220

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 Rutgers, Brendon White had 19 tackles which puts him in the 73.75 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 34.52 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. Brendon White as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 87.26 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Illinois vs. Rutgers Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Illinois 25 Rutgers 23

Spread Pick: Illinois +7 -157 matchbook
Moneyline Pick: Illinois +190 5Dimes
Total Pick: Under 52 -110 matchbook