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October 28, 2017 at 11:57 am #32310
Wisconsin vs. Illinois LIVE GAME ONLINE:>>
Wisconsin’s defense held Maryland’s offense to only 268 total yards on the afternoon, along with containing Big Ten standout wide receiver D.J. Moore to only three receptions for 44 yards.
Illinois (2–5, 0–4), on the other hand, is coming off a 24–17 road loss at Minnesota. This is a very young program under second-year head coach Lovie Smith, with 75 underclassmen (sophomores and freshmen) on its roster. Fourteen true freshmen have started already this season, which leads the nation, and the Illini have played 21 true freshmen, also the most in the country.
The Illini’s defense has allowed 409.4 yards per game, second-worst in the conference behind Maryland. It is dead last in the Big Ten in rushing yards allowed per contest (210.7) while giving up nearly 200 yards through the air and 30 points per game.
Offensively, Illinois ranks last in the Big Ten in points per game (18.3) and rushing offense (118.7 yards per game), along with 13th in total offense (313 yards per game).
Illinois has a lot of young players. What’s the cause for this, and what has also been the cause for the team’s 2–5 start, which includes being 0–4 heading into Saturday’s match-up against Wisconsin?
Well, the cause for the 2–5 start comes directly from the stat you already referenced—Illinois is far too dependent on freshmen. Four out of the five offensive linemen are freshmen, with three of them being true freshmen. Illinois’s best running back is a freshman. The best receiver is a freshman. The best tight end is a freshman. The best quarterback may be a freshman. Both starting defensive ends are freshman. The secondary has two starting freshmen in it. A walk-on freshman started at linebacker.October 28, 2017 at 12:11 pm #32315
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