Written by College Football Weekly Analyst Greg Nelson.
Charliessports.com produces it for Football Betting. Football Point Spread Picks are the best in the industry and will continue through the BCS-title game in January of 2019. It’ll be eight year’s since Ron Zook was relieved of these head coaching duties at the University of Illinois. Zook had Fighting Illini football on the verge of greatness with his uncanny way of attracting top high school prospects to Champaign/Urbana. Rashard Mendenhall, Vontae Davis, Whitney Mercilus, and Corey Liuget were all first-round NFL draft picks who were recruited by Zook. Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith enters his third season, and he’s struggling to put the pieces together. With five wins in his first twos season’s on the sidelines it’s paramount they do something to rejuvenate a disappointed fanbase. The fighting Illini opens the season Labor Day weekend at home vs. Kent State, and then Western Illinois invades Memorial stadium. Conference foes Penn State, Minnesota and Iowa also visit. Illinois avoids Ohio State, Michigan along with Michigan State but they’ll travel to Wisconsin in October.
The anemic Illinois offense scored just (15.4) ppg, 127th in the nation last season. They were just as pathetic throwing and running the forcing Smith to shake up the coaching staff. First-year offensive coordinator Rod Smith comes over from the University of Arizona where he held the assistant label. He’s got an uphill climb at the quarterback position where one scholarship players returns but incoming freshmen MJ Rivers, Coran Taylor, and Matt Robinson along with Nebraska graduate transfer A.J. Bush will compete to the starting job. Fort Lauderdale, Florida St.Thomas Aquinas high school product Mike Epstein returns for his sophomore season after rushing for a team-best 346 last year. Wideout Mike Dudek missed 2015 and 16 with ACL injuries but returned last season; he expects to be a starter who’ll produce. Nick Allegretti is the leader of an offensive line that returns four first-year students who played the entire 2017 campaign. The Illini offense should improve, but a lot will depend on quarterback production.
Smith hired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Hardy Nickerson as the defensive coordinator, and he’s heard his fair share of criticism around campus. The Fighting Illini were gashed up front last year allowing opponents (218.5) yards per game on the ground, 117th in the FBS. Sophomore ends Isaiah Gay and Bobby Roundtree contributed the previous season, they’ll have more responsibility in 2018. Tackle Tymir Oliver is solid both against the run, and he can also rush the passer from the inside. Linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips will team with Jake Hansen who missed last year with a torn ACL. Sophomore safety Bennett Williams led the secondary with three interceptions as a freshman; he’ll team with Stanley Green. Cornerback Nate Hobbs has NFL talent, and the staff expects him to shut down opposing receivers. A lot of players got time as soon as they stepped on campus for Illinois and it should pay immediate dividends on defense as well as offense. Bovada.Lv, list the Illinois Fighting Illini at 150/1 to win the 2018 Big Ten Conference Championship.
Free Pick. The 2018 Illinois Fighting Illini will go 5-7 in the regular season Also, Play Online Poker Plus Other Casino Games and enter some of the best Tournaments on the World Wide Web.