With Nebraska and Illinois facing off, I thought it would be a good idea to sit down with WritingIllini.com editor Ricky Widmer to get his opinions of the game.
Husker Corner: Illinois has looked great on offense, but Nathan Scheelhaase has not really used his feet as a weapon this season. Do you think The Illini will have him run the ball more against Nebraska, given their recent inability to stop mobile quarterbacks?
Ricky Widmer: No, Illinois will not have Scheelhaase run the ball more because it’s not in their game plan. Offense coordinator Bill Cubit has a system and it involves Scheelhaase using his arm more than his legs. Scheelhaase has had injury problems over the past few season and Bill Cubit knows this. Hence why, reducing the running of Scheelhaase will keep him healthier and on the field. Of course, Scheelhaase can run if he needs to, but only if he NEEDS to.
Husker Corner: Josh Furgeson has been a great weapon for Illinois this season. How much do you think Scheelhaase will go to the running back through the air since he will likely be covered by the Huskers inexperienced linebackers?
Ricky Widmer: Josh Ferguson and Donovonn Young have been huge for the Illini so far this season. However, Ferguson has been able to be a quality option for Illinois out of the backfield. He leads the team in receiving and should have a big game against the Huskers. I expect his play to lead the team to an upset win on Saturday.
Husker Corner: Score prediction time. Who do you think wins and what is the final score?
Ricky Widmer: Illinois 49, Nebraska 41 – Back in July, Writing Illini posted an NCAA season sim of the Illini season. In this sim, the Illini beat the Cornhuskers by this score and I thought it was crazy. However, after seeing both teams this season, I feel like it could very well be a reality. I expect both offenses to come to life in this game and the Illini will pull off the upset in Lincoln this weekend.