Wisconsin Badgers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini: Q&A With Writing Illini


The Wisconsin Badgers are on the road this weekend in Illinois, and we once again reached out to our friends at Writing Illini to give us the scoop on the Illinois Fighting Illini heading into the Big Ten showdown.

READ ALSO: Season Update With Writing Illini

Thanks again to Rees Woodcock, the editor over at Writing Illini, Fansided’s Illinois website, for divulging some information ahead of Saturday’s matchup between the Badgers and the Fighting Illini. Be sure to check out Writing Illini and follow them on Twitter to keep tabs on the Illini heading into Saturday’s game.

Here’s more insight heading into Saturday’s game, courtesy of Writing Illini:

BOH: Wisconsin’s defense is giving up just 10.9 points per game this season, and Illinois is scoring 28.5 points a game. Which side wins out on Saturday?

WI: Well, it seems like an obvious answer here. I should choose Illinois to win out because I want Illinois to win. I honestly think the Illinois offense will be closer to 10.9 points than 28.5 points.

Illinois is a good offense but they are banged up. Starting running back Josh Ferguson is likely to be out again and the Illinois wide receiving core is not 100%. I would like to say the Illini are going to light it up but I have to be realistic. I think the Wisconsin linebackers will blitz all over Illinois and cause the chaos.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

BOH: The Badgers defense hasn’t just kept teams out of the end zone, they’ve made it tough to move the ball. Most opposing points (outside of the Alabama game) have come off of turnovers. How will Illinois look to move the ball on Saturday?

WI: Illinois has a great way of spreading the ball out to a multitude of players. In almost every game you will have 7 or 8 guys having at least one reception. This is a good way of getting the ball down the field.

The Illini also have to make sure to convert 3rd downs through the air. This will be key to winning this game. If Illinois can managed to complete some passes early on it will make your linebackers drop back more and that will in turn open up some more holes on the line. This whole game is predicated on whether or not Wes Lunt can keep drives moving through the air.

BOH: The Badgers have been unable to establish the running game lately, but may have a wealth of options available with both Corey Clement and Taiwan Deal potentially back in action along with Dare Ogunbowale and Alec Ingold. Is Illinois concerned with the Badgers run game?

WI: The question is Illinois concerned with the Badgers run game is like asking Mike Ditka if he likes football. Of course the Illini are concerned with the Badgers running attack. They are always a threat every season no matter who is trotted out there.

You say that they haven’t been able to establish a running game lately yet Ogunbowale has been able to run at a clip of 5.1 yards per game. That is incredible and it is a nice thing to have. Illinois should be focusing on the Badgers run game no matter who is in the backfield come Saturday.

BOH: Wisconsin’s passing game is producing numbers, but bad interceptions have hurt the Badgers. Is Illinois licking its chops to get a shot at Joel Stave?

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  • WI: While I want to say yes to this question, I think they should be focusing more on stopping the running game. Stave really isn’t a problem. He doesn’t light up the stat sheet and I think our defensive backs are good enough where he will have a difficult time completing passes.

    The Illinois defense is still on unsteady grounds and they need to prove themselves every week still. Licking its chops could be a little extreme, I would say more like Illinois is looking to keep Stave in check.

    BOH: Care to offer a prediction?

    WI: There are a few things that could turn this game completely. Wisconsin running attack and the Illinois passing attack.

    If Wisconsin starts off hot on the ground then it could be over by half-time. They are a good running team no matter who is in the backfield. On the other hand, if Illinois can move the ball through the air to start the game off then the can control the clock.

    I think Illinois will prevail in this game but it will be low scoring and close.

    Illinois 17, Wisconsin 10

    Next: Get To Know The Illinois Fighting Illini

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