Illinois will look to continue its surprising early season run on Saturday when it squares off against Nebraska at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. Kickoff in this weekend's meeting between the Illini and Huskers is set for 12:00pm ET; the Big Ten conference clash will be broadcast live on ESPNU. NCAA Football Odds have Taylor Martinez and company listed as a -8 against the spread and -320 money line ($320 win $100) favorites. The Over/Under in Saturday's game is set at 60.5 points.
Illinois finished a pathetic 2-10 last year, Head Coach Tim Beckman's first year on the job, but its 2013 campaign has been a pleasant surprise. Last weekend the Fighting Illini surpassed last season's win total, pounding a hapless Miami, OH squad 50-14 in Champaign.
Illinois posted 36 first downs and 601 total yards in the thrashing and its defense held the punchless Redhawks to 2-of-11 on third down and 250 total yards.
Senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has thrived in new offensive coordinator Bill Cubit's system, which is a major reason behind the Illini's fast start. Through four games Scheelhaase has completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 1162 yards, 12 touchdowns, and just three interceptions.
Illinois's defense has not played that well, though, ranking 92nd in the nation in yards per game allowed. The Illini had some serious issues when they faced their most capable opponent to date, Washington, three weeks ago at Soldier Field. The Huskies piled up 30 first downs and 615 total yards in defeating Illinois 34-24.
Nebraska's offense had to be salivating at the tape from the Washington game, knowing it will find plenty of soft spots against the Illini defense.
The Huskers defense is no good either, but its offense can put points on the scoreboard in a hurry and should be able to outpace Scheelhaase and company.
NCAA Football Illinois vs Nebraska Odds:
Illinois Fighting Illini +8 (-110), Over 60.5 (-110), +260 (Moneyline)
Nebraska Cornhuskers -8 (-110), Under 60.5 (-110), -320 (Moneyline)
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