Illinois Fighting Illini vs. South Florida Bulls Preview
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
When: Friday, September 15, 2017, 7:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
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Betting on the Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0)
Continuing their hot start this 2017 are the Illinois Fighting Illini, who kept the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in check this past weekend en route to a 20-7 victory.
The Fighting Illini are one of the biggest suprises early on coming out of the crowded Big Ten conference, currently boasting a top-30 defensive unit that has allowed just an average of 14 points per game (28th). However, a rather timid offense that leans more towards the run game may lead to their undoing this weekend.
Although Illinois racked up 193 rushing yards on 50 carries in the win over WKU, junior quarterback Chayce Crouch still hasn’t proved himself as a dependable passer. Crouch completed just 14 of his 25 passes for 107 yards last Saturday and has yet to throw for over 150 yards this season. He’s also been picked off in each of his two starts thus far.
South Florida, which is averaging 36.5 points per contest, should pose as a tough challenge for the Illini’s defense. Illinois’ passing game must be able to keep up with the Bulls’ scoring production. Otherwise, the team might just come back down to Earth after its brief undefeated run to start the season.
Betting on the South Florida Bulls (2-0)
Perhaps the week off due to the threat of Hurricane Irma this past weekend will work out for the best for the No. 19 South Florida Bulls, who last played on September 3 and came away with a 31-17 victory over the Stony Brook Seawolves.
The Bulls didn’t look as impressive in that win, as they trailed Stony Brook by halftime, 10-7. But the team displayed its composure in the second half an ran away with a sizeable victory when all was said and done.
Star quarterback Quinton Flowers had just 186 passing yards. Then again, it was also Flowers’ second multi-touchdown game in as many weeks played this season, so he should be amped up to put on a better show in front of a home crowd eager to find some solace from all the recent calamities.
On the subject of home games, the Bulls have won nine of their last 10 contests at Raymond James Stadium (7-3 ATS). They scored an average of nearly 46 points during this 10-game span, which goes to show that their offense can crank up to a different level that the Fighting Illini may not be able to contain.
The Bulls give Floridians a moment to rejoice with a 38-27 win, but the Fighting Illini manage to cover the +17.5 spread.
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