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

Minnesota vs. Illinois 11/7/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Minnesota visits Illinois on 11/7/2020 at 3:30PM.

Minnesota and Illinois 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. Minnesota has a record of 0-2 this season. Illinois is 0-2 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Minnesota Team Defense Preview

Minnesota has had 21 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.14 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Minnesota is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. 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 Minnesota message boards are flights of fantasy. Minnesota opponents pass the football 50.00% of the time.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

This is a pushover defense. There is not enough push from the Defensive Line and not enough imagination from the Defensive Coordinator to cause chaos in the backfield.Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.63 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. Running backs should look forward to this porous defense filled with poor tacklers who take terrible angles. 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. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. Minnesota is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Minnesota Team Offense Preview

Minnesota has had 21 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.48 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. Minnesota 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. Minnesota passes the football 32.17% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

On first downs, getting ahead of the chains is crucial and running the ball well on first down can get a team there, Minnesota has done a good job avoiding the negative yardage rushing plays. 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 3.41 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. 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 had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Minnesota this season. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Minnesota has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Illinois Team Defense Preview

Illinois has had 22 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.45 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 Illinois message boards are flights of fantasy. Illinois opponents pass the football 48.33% of the time.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

Illinois 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 2.83 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 specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!Illinois is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Illinois Team Offense Preview

Illinois has had 21 total drives this season and they generate 5.38 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. Illinois passes the football 49.56% of the time.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. 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 2.73 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. 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 been able to impose their will on the Illinois Offense this season. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Illinois is a better passing team than running team this season.

The Minnesota Roster

The Players to Watch for Minnesota

Tanner Morgan QB 6-2 215

This season, Tanner Morgan has put up 386 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has thrown 1 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 141.4thus far this season. Tanner Morgan has thrown 1 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Tanner Morgan has -27.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 5.88 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 9.0 times this season, which puts him in the 46.47 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Mohamed Ibrahim RB 5-10 210

This season, Mohamed Ibrahim has 347 rushing yards on 67 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 6 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Mohamed Ibrahim picked up 17 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 4 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Rashod Bateman WR 6-2 210

This season, Rashod Bateman picked up 163 yards. He caught the ball 14 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Boye Mafe DL 6-4 265

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Minnesota, Boye Mafe has 6 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 74.03 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 87.42 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Tyler Nubin DB 6-2 205

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 Minnesota, Tyler Nubin had 16 tackles which puts him in the 70.64 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 35.61 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. Tyler Nubin as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 40.81 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Illinois Roster

The Players to Watch for Illinois

Coran Taylor QB 6-2 190

This season, Coran Taylor has put up 273 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 146.7thus far this season. Coran Taylor has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Coran Taylor has 32.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 60.0 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 17.0 times this season, which puts him in the 60.98 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 99 rushing yards on 21 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 1 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.

Brian Hightower WR 6-3 220

This season, Brian Hightower picked up 123 yards. He caught the ball 5 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Roderick Perry DL 6-2 300

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Illinois, Roderick Perry has 7 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 74.03 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 87.42 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Sydney Brown DB 6-0 200

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, Sydney Brown had 16 tackles which puts him in the 70.64 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 35.61 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. Sydney Brown as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 40.81 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Minnesota vs. Illinois Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Minnesota 39 Illinois 27

Spread Pick: Minnesota -7 -111 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Minnesota -255 5Dimes
Total Pick: Over 64 -107 Pinnacle Sports