Nebraska Predictions (we need them now!)

Illini football 2013...boldly going where no Tim Beckman-coached Illini team has gone before.

Blog PhotoI’m referring, of course, to the number of wins this season, but the analogy could easily be expanded to the overall vibe surrounding this Illini team.  Today’s game was one where we expected a strong Illini performance, and we got one.  It reminded me much of the Cincy game, where the only two things you could nit pick about were some shakiness with O’Toole in at quarterback and with containing a versatile opposing quarterback.  Other than that it was another strong offensive performance, which takes pressure off of Nathan Scheelhaase to run the ball.  And some more trickeration from the playbook of Bill Cubit, the man who I dubbed the X-factor of this season at the beginning of the campaign.  That prediction is one of my few that is certainly holding true.  Not to mention when you show so many different formations, plays, players, etc. on offense, it makes it difficult for opposing defensive coordinators to game plan.

Afterwards, Coach Beckman talked about the need to get the ball to paydirt today…

Turning to the numbers, which never lie…

Blog PhotoAll 39 of you picked Illinois, thus all of you picked up a notch in the win column.  Top congrats, though, go to buckhunter2, who was a couple points away from a perfect pick.  Overall, the one and two slots swapped this week, with walker moving into the lead.  We had two new pickers this week and are up to 64 overall.

Now, for the first time this year, let’s journey outside the Land of Lincoln…

Blog PhotoCall  me crazy, but I believe the Huskers are a more talented team than the pollsters give them credit for.  After reading a couple postgame reports from the squad’s last game, it appears that, like the Illini, defense is the biggest issue.  The unit is young and has thrown out a lot of different looks, which leads to a struggle for continuity, and hasn’t been able to take defensive success off the practice field and onto the playing field.  So like the Washington game, this is another one that could be close if the Illini offense is firing on all cylinders.  The question is…will that will to win overcome Bo Pelini’s will to win and make folks forget about I-hate-the-fans-gate?  Speaking of BP, here are a couple bye week comments from him.  First, a comment I found surprising on if his defensive unit knows how much effort is needed on the playing field…

And another, on the overall frustrations surrounding the team this year...

As I write this, it appears that Nebraska starting QB Taylor Martinez will return from his turf toe injury for next week’s game.  So again, it’s another versatile QB that the Illini will have to wrap up.  Pick-wise, Nebraska has the edge, but Illinois has the momentum.  Ah, what the heck?

My Prediction:  Illinois 41, Nebraska 40 (and the B1G losing streak is vanquished!)

Blog PhotoSide note about the Pelini comments – while they were certainly inexcusable, the situation has blown over in pretty much the best way possible for Bo.  All he can do now is win, which is the ultimate saving grace in the college football world.  Plus, I’m sure comments like that happen more often than we think.  The problem, as Pelini found, is that in this era of technology, comments are just a record button or finger type away from going viral.

Clearing out the notebook…

  • You probably didn’t recognize the audio in that first soundbite, but you probably saw a news story or two about its source this week.  It’s the audio from liftoff as UI alum Mike Hopkins headed to the International Space Station.  Ask anyone around my workplace and they’ll tell you I was glued to my computer on Wednesday watching the launch, and I’ve been following the mission ever since.  There’s just something about having a local guy in space that makes you feel good.
  • Another entry in the “Thank goodness it’s not us” category comes in the form of this two yard punt today by USF.
  • And another programming plug:  tune in to WDWS or wdws.com tomorrow at 1 PM as Brian Moline and I bring you Illini Soccer vs. Nebraska.  The squad’s Friday night matchup with Iowa was the most physical soccer game I’ve ever seen, with three UI players leaving with injuries.  So it’ll be an uphill battle tomorrow, but a fun one.

-Tim

Coming up next Saturday:  Nebraska thoughts and prediction standings

[Bo audio via omaha.com, Bo photo via @FauxPelini on Twitter]

Comments

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brownie832 wrote on September 30, 2013 at 9:09 am

ILLINI 30


Huskers 27


GO ILLINI!


 


 

krervin2 wrote on September 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm

ILLINOIS 27

Nebraska 24

Bob Patterson wrote on September 30, 2013 at 11:09 pm
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Nebraska 37

Illinois 21

Railsplitter wrote on October 01, 2013 at 5:10 am

llini35       nebraska 36

FonDoc94 wrote on October 01, 2013 at 9:10 am

Go Illini!!  Step on Martinez's toe!!  

ILLINI 37. Nebraska 19

tonyjb37 wrote on October 01, 2013 at 9:10 am
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CORN DOGS  34         ILLINESS  31

mvillini wrote on October 01, 2013 at 10:10 am

 Have a feeling we will win a game or two that we shouldn't, but I dont think it will start this week. Have to go with the Huskers 35, Illini 24. Go Illini !!!

Eric 22 wrote on October 01, 2013 at 11:10 am

Do you remember when Illinois laid an egg at Minny to utlimately cost Zook his job?  I feel like Nebraska is very close to that situation so I will say this breaks the Pelini back.....Illini - 36  Lincoln logs of corn - 20

P.S. Here's to Taylor Martinez not running for 200 yds and throwing 3 Ints to help the Illini defense.

Gill52 wrote on October 01, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Hope I'm wrong. 

Nebraska 35   Illini 20 

 

teachdacc wrote on October 01, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Illini roll 42 Big red  36!  The streak ends. 

illini82 wrote on October 01, 2013 at 3:10 pm

IL   34   Corn-holers 31

BleedOandB wrote on October 02, 2013 at 8:10 am

Illini 21


 


Neb 38

buckhunter2 wrote on October 02, 2013 at 9:10 am

ILLINI   44

NEB     38

smccaw_11748 wrote on October 02, 2013 at 12:10 pm

35 nebraska

32 illini - 

they miss a late FG to tie

illinibadger wrote on October 02, 2013 at 8:10 pm

UIUC 31, UNL 30

illiniearl wrote on October 03, 2013 at 2:10 am

Love the kitty cat pic - hilarious and priceless!    Winning at Husker Stadium?   I just don't see that happening.     Would love to be proven wrong once again!

Nebraska  41

Illinois 23

burkejo wrote on October 03, 2013 at 10:10 am

I'm going to pick against my Illini only because the last time I did, they pulled out a big win over Cincy.


Nebraska 27


Illinois 13


Hope they prove me wrong again!

touchdown_illinois wrote on October 03, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Illini 45

Nebraska 42

Bwp 5P wrote on October 03, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Illini 34

Huskers 41

 

Make me wrong Illini!!!

jruss62 wrote on October 03, 2013 at 4:10 pm

ILLINI............38                                                                                           Cornhuskers.27   

ILLINI04 wrote on October 03, 2013 at 5:10 pm

ILLINI--38

 

Cornwhoever----31

mbelcher wrote on October 03, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Nebraska   42

Illinois    28

nutleyillini wrote on October 04, 2013 at 7:10 am

Neb 42

ill 38

Illini-5 wrote on October 04, 2013 at 8:10 am

Nebraska - 41

Illini - 34

Reillini wrote on October 04, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Illini-38

Huskers-34

I think we squeak this one out

as Always go Illini

yellowjacket wrote on October 04, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Nebraska 35        Illini 21

Jam wrote on October 04, 2013 at 10:10 pm

ILLINOIS   42      Nebraska 28

ddub923 wrote on October 04, 2013 at 10:10 pm

ILLINOIS        30

NEBRASKA  38

walker wrote on October 04, 2013 at 10:10 pm

NEBRASKA  30   ILLINOIS 18

conner34 wrote on October 05, 2013 at 12:10 am

Illini 35

Huskers 42

robertxc1 wrote on October 05, 2013 at 7:10 am

Illini: 42

Nebraska: 32

sclark wrote on October 05, 2013 at 8:10 am

Illini  34  Nebraska 31

DarrenAlman wrote on October 05, 2013 at 9:10 am

Illini  31      Nebraska  44