Illinois at Rutgers: 11/14/20 College Football Picks and Prediction

Illinois  at Rutgers: 11/14/20 College Football Picks and Prediction Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-2) vs Illinois Fighting Illini (0-3)

Game Info: Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 12:00 pm (SHI Stadium)

Betting Odds: Rutgers Scarlet Knights -6 -- Over/Under: 55 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Illinois Fighting Illini will travel to SHI Stadium to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.

The Illinois Fighting Illini dropped to 0-3 (0-3 Big Ten) on the season after being defeated by the Minnesota Gophers, 41-14, this past Saturday. Illinois was dominated by Minnesota on both ends of the field and could not fight back after Minnesota took a 28-7 lead at halftime. Illinois was outgained by Minnesota by a 541-287 margin and converted just 14 first downs in the loss. Leading the way for the Fighting Illini was RB Mike Epstein who had 108 rushing yards & 1 TD on 11 carries.

On the season, Illinois is averaging 15.0 ppg on 325.7 total yards per game (162.7 passing yds/g; 163.0 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Illinois has been led by the backfield trio of Mike Epstein (32 att, 207 yards, 2 TD), Chase Brown (18 att, 116 yards), and Coran Taylor (36 att, 74 yards). QB Coran Taylor has completed 50.0% of his passes for 379 yards, 3 TD, & 2 INT since replacing the injured Brandon Peters. The top receiving threats for the Fighting Illini have been Brian Hightower (6 rec, 129 yards, TD), Josh Imatorbhebhe (9 rec, 129 yards, TD), Daniel Barker (8 rec, 110 yards), and Daniel Imatorbhebhe (3 rec, 54 yards, TD).

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Defensively, Illinois is allowing their opponents to average 39.0 ppg on 475.7 total yards per game (278.3 passing yds/g; 197.3 rushing yds/g).

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 1-2 (1-2 Big Ten) on the season after being defeated by the 3rd ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, 49-27, this past Saturday. Rutgers had no answers for Ohio State throughout the first half and although they were able to put some points up on some trick plays late in the game, the Scarlett Knights couldn’t fight back after they went into halftime trailing by a 35-3 margin. Rutgers was outgained by Ohio State by a 517-370 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 2-1 margin in the loss. Leading the way for the Scarlett Knights was WR Bo Melton who had 83 receiving yards on 6 receptions.

On the season, Rutgers is averaging 28.7 ppg on 297.7 total yards per game (175.0 passing yds/g; 122.7 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Rutgers has been led by RB Isaih Pacheco who has 153 rushing yards & 2 TD’s on 35 carries while also hauling 12 receptions for 75 yards. QB Noah Vedral has completed 63.2% of his passes for 464 yards, 3 TD, & 4 INT. The top receiving threats for Vedral and the Scarlett Knights have been Bo Melton (14 rec, 181 yards, 2 TD), Aron Cruickshank (14 rec, 106 yards), and Shameen Jones (10 rec, 81 yards, TD).

Defensively, Rutgers is allowing their opponents to average 37.7 ppg on 411.0 total yards per game (290.3 passing yds/g; 120.7 rushing yds/g).

The Fighting Illini are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 conference games, however, are just 1-2 ATS on the season. The Scarlet Knights are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 November games, however, are just 4-10 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.

Illinois looks like they are in for a long season as the Fighting Illini have struggled on both sides of the ball and will continue to be without their starting QB in Brandon Peters. Rutgers shocked everyone with their opening season victory against Michigan State and although they have dropped their past two to Indiana and Ohio State, the offense has looked decent this season after having trouble putting up points in conference play last year. It’s tough to take Rutgers to win by a TD, but as I haven’t seen anything from Illinois this season and that the Fighting Illini still have a bunch of important pieces questionable due to COVID-19, I think taking the Scarlet Knights is the play here. Good Luck!

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Brett’s Pick Rutgers Scarlet Knights -6

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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