The Charleston Southern University (that’s Charleston, SC if you’re curious) Buccaneers are on a 14-game losing streak, and they’re ranked 118 out of 122 FCS schools. This means they’re at the bottom of the barrel in the division below the Illini.
I’m in a fantasy college pick ‘em football league where you guess which team will be triumphant each week, while considering the spread. When one team is insanely dominant over another, then the spread number is just “off.” For the first time I can remember, the Illini game was listed as “off.” Which, of course, I love.
Apparently, the defense isn’t sweating last week’s horrific presentation at Arizona State last weekend, so I guess I won’t either. They’ve now tasted a loss, and it was pretty bitter. In a way, maybe it’s better that this happened early on in the season, so that Coach Beckman can use it as a learning experience and stop a disaster before it occurs (ahem, last season’s losing streak).
So what should we be looking out for? I would say a huge win. I don’t think fans are going to be happy unless we win by at least 3 touchdowns. There is no reason this should be a close game, and if it is a close game then it’s essentially a loss. The competition is going to get much more serious, and we need to be ready.
QB Nathan Scheelhaase is supposed to be back in the game this week, and it is apparent that we need him in there. We’re back at home in the comforts of Memorial Stadium, and since there is no impending hurricane, the crowd is rumored to be much larger.
I’ll be in the stands for the first time this year, and I expect some magical moments. No pressure or anything.
• Illinois ranks third in the Big Ten and 18th nationally in fewest yards penalized per game (30.5).
• Illinois and Charleston Southern are meeting for the first time, and it is also the first time the Illini have played a team from the Big South Conference.
• Illinois is 11-0 all-time against FCS teams with an average margin of victory of 29 points per game. All but one of those wins have been by at least 21 points, including last year’s 56-3 win over South Dakota State.
The game will be at 11AM on Saturday at Memorial Stadium, and will air on the Big Ten Network.