Wisconsin vs Illinois: Wisconsin might be the only Big Ten team to play worse than Illinois did last week., Rutgers was worse than both of them, but that’s not the point.
The Illini offense was stuffed by Purdue in a 46-7 loss, but for the most part, the ground game has been terrific so far with over 200 yards in every other game. Mobile quarterbacks are an issue for the the Badgers, and AJ Bush has the ability to be a 100-yard threat, even if the Iowa linebackers bottled him up last week.
Wisconsin vs Illinois
Date: Saturday, October 20
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
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The Illini secondary needs to come up with a slew of big plays and force mistakes, and it has to hope the Alex Hornibrook that played in Ann Arbor last Saturday night shows up in Madison.
Illinois allows completed passes, but it also makes a ton of interceptions with 11 so far on the year. Coming off a 7-of-20 day for 100 yards with a score and two picks – and after a mediocre game against Nebraska before that – Hornibrook has to prove himself all over again.
One Reason Why Wisconsin Will Win
Just how quickly can the Badgers rebound?
As good as Jonathan Taylor has been this year, the running game hasn’t been consistent, and again, Hornibrook hasn’t been great.
Even so, this year, when the Badgers run for 210 yards or more it’s 4-0, and it’s 0-2 when it doesn’t get there. Going back through last season, it’s 13-0 when getting to 210 yards. Illinois has allowed 210 yards or more in three of the last four games, with only Rutgers not getting there.
But this game really is more about Hornibrook and if he can any sort of a groove back. His receivers are solid, and he’s getting the time, but he wasn’t sharp against Michigan, but just a few weeks ago, he connected on 17-of-22 passes against Iowa.
Everyone but USF’s Blake Barnett has hit the 60% completion mark against the Illinois D that’s allowed over ten yards per throw in three of the last four games.
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What’s Going To Happen
It’s not exactly going to be a cathartic moment for the Badgers after the nuclear meltdown against Michigan, they’ll look the part again.
The running game will get things going, and then it’ll be Hornibrook, Hornibrook, Hornibrook, and the goal will be to get the running game back on track.
Illinois doesn’t have any sort of a passing game to take advantage of the mediocre Badger secondary, and it’s going to be a long, long day against a run defense that will be fine.
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