Friday, October 31, 2008

FOOTBALL: 2008 Week Ten - Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Preview VS.
GAME INFO: Sat., Nov 1st, 2008 - 2:37 PM CST - Memorial Stadium - Champaign, IL
IOWA: 5-3 (2-2) NR / ILLINOIS 4-4 (2-3) NR

TV COVERAGE: ABC (HD) will televise the game to a regional audience. Fans not in the ABC regional footprint can watch the game on ESPN (HD). The game will also be available online at Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman and Rob Stone will call the action.

LINE: Iowa is a 2.5 point underdog on the road.

This is the second straight road game that Iowa is playing in Memorial Stadium, let's hope the result is the same as the last game in the stadium with the same name.

It's been rumored that Illinois leading rusher, Daniel Dufrene, will not play on Saturday due to personal issues he is trying to clear up. Likely to fill his void is the once (or was that twice?) committed to Iowa, Jason Ford. His stats look average, but if you break them down, they get worse. Currently he has 234 yards on 50 carries and 5 TDs. However, if you take away the Indiana game, he is left with 62 yards on 31 carries and 2 TDs (2 YPC and 8.9 yards per game). He has talent, there's no doubt about it, but I do think Iowa's vaunted D is going to be able to handle him easily. The scary part of the game is going to be focused on Juice. Williams is accountable for over 17 points per game for Illinois (far and away the highest number of anyone in the Big Ten). Iowa did well against Iowa last year against the option, but may have a hard time containing Juice this time out. The book says to force Juice to go down field, which is something that I think the Illini will be able to do at will on Saturday. Greenwood and Sash are going to be picked on quite a bit this game.

Shonn Green continues to plug away, and finally his hard work is getting national attention. Hawks knew his potential and his raw skill, so it's no surprise to see him excel - now the rest of the nation knows about him. This could be good or bad. Either that will force teams to respect Greene and load the box, thus allowing Iowa to open the playbook and pass wild. It also means Iowa is going to be forced to put a lot of trust in their first year, sophomore starting QB in Ricky Stanzi. It should be interesting how Ricky fares in a hostile environment on the road.

I can't wait to hear Spielman's color commentary again. He's a STUD.
Iowa will not see Illinois again until 2011.
No word if Zook has a strategy to stop Nate Kaeding.

Offensive Player of the Game: Shonn Greene (Ninth consecutive week for obvious reasons)
Defensive Player of the Game: Mitch King (Iowa will need to get pressure with its front four and Mitch will be the key)

Iowa - 24
Illinois - 23

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