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2007 Illinois Fighting Illini Football Preview
2007 Illinois Fighting Illini season preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official Illinois Fighting Illini football preview as well as the 2007 Illinois Fighting Illini Football Schedule. Dont miss our football picks for college games against the spread and bookmark our college football point spread page offering up to the minute odds & lines.
Coach: Ron Zook (3rd year at Illinois)
Team Name: Fighting Illini
2006 Overall Record: 2-10
Returning Starters: 17
The Illinois Fighting Illini's (2- 10 overall, 1- 7 Big Ten) last post-season appearance was in the 2001 Sugar Bowl; that same year they won the Big Ten title. The club finished in their conference tied for 10th in 2006. In two years as head coach of the Fighting Illini, Ron Zook has gone 4- 19. But this year could be different. Zook has had some good recruiting years, and he's got some talented, experienced players returning. However, he also looks to start seven freshmen!
In his first season, Juice Williams (39.5% COMP, 1,489 YDs, 9 TDs, 9 INTs) displayed his tough athleticism. This year look for Williams to become an accurate passer and to also have better receivers. He suffered from a lot of dropped balls in 2006. Freshman WR Arrelious Benn is big, fast and sure-handed. He could be an instant star. Junior RB Rashard Mendenhall (78 CAR, 640 YDs, 5 TDs), a talented athlete, will try to anchor the ground game, which was first in the Big Ten and 10th in the nation in 2006.
The defense gave up an average of 26.8 PPG in 2006. The LB unit is good, with seniors J. Leman (152 tackles, 75 solo) and Antonio Steele (85 tackles, 24 solo) leading the way. This year the LBs should have help from an experienced and improved frontline, which is led by senior Chris Norwell (5 sacks). The corner and safety positions are looking more secure this season.
Going six and six this year is not out of the question. Swing games away at Indiana and Minnesota and home against Northwestern are all big. Last season, the team had a lot of close loses. Fans are hoping those can be turned into wins. The future looks bright for this team with a stellar season still a year or so away.
Illinois Fighting Illini Football Schedule
|Sep 8||W Illinois||Home|
|Sep 29||Penn St||Home|
|Oct 27||Ball St||Home|
|Nov 10||Ohio St||Away|
For more info on the 2007 Illinois Fighting Illini football program, view their official website or read up on the rest of the Big Ten foes below.
2007 Big 10 Football Team Previews
All of the Big Ten Conference teams are listed to the right. Each team link gives our individual preview for the selected Big 10 club. For non Big Ten teams visit our college football preview page.
For our conference predictions in terms of order of finish check out the Big Ten Football Preview page which in addition to our Big ten predictions features a quick overview of the conference and answers questions like, just how good are the young Illini, is Penn State back, and if this is Ohio State or Michigan's conference to win in 07.