College Football Handicapping: #19 Washington Huskies vs Illinois Fighting Illini
#19 Washington Huskies vs Illinois Fighting Illini
Soldier Field – Chicago, Illinois
Saturday, September 14, 2014, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Line: Washington -7 1/2
Current Line: Washington -9 1/2
Opening Total: 64
Current Total: 62 1/2
Opening Money Line: Washington -380 / Illinois +315
Current Money Line: Washington -370 / Illinois +310
The Washington Huskies travel to Chicago Saturday to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini at Soldier Field. Washington leads the series 5-4, but the teams haven’t played since 1972. Illinois will play in Seattle next year.
The #19 Huskies are 1-0 this season under coach Steve Sarkisian. Washington took last week off after destroying Boise State 38-6 in the first game at newly remodeled Husky Stadium. The Huskies were 4 point favorites and the total was 54. Washington took an early 10-0 lead, before Boise St kicked two field goals to make it 10-6 early in the third. However, Washington would outscore them 28-0 for the rest of the game. Washington had a balanced attack with 592 total yards including 268 rushing yards and 324 passing yards. The Huskies had 33 first downs. Boise had 346 total yards. Each team had one turnover, but Washington was able to overcome 8 penalties.
Washington quarterback Keith Price completed 23 of 31 passes for 324 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception, and also added 25 rushing yards. Running back Bishop Sankey had 25 carries, 161 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with a catch for 12 yards. Dwayne Washington had 13 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Jaydon Mickens had 9 catches for 109 yards. Kacen Williams and Joshua Perkins each had touchdown catches, Star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was suspended for the Boise State game after an off season arrest. He is questionable against Illinois.
Illinois is 2-0 under coach Tim Beckman. Illinois beat Southern Illinois 42-34 and last week dominated Cincinnati 45-17, both at home. Illinois is 1-1 ATS this year and both games have gone over the total. The Fighting Illini were 7.5 point underdogs against Cincinnati and the total was 55.5. However, Illinois jumped out a 21-0 lead and never looked back. The Bearcats would score just before halftime on a touchdown pass from quarterback Munchie Legaux to make it 21-7. Legaux would later suffer a serious knee injury and is gone for the season. In the second half, Cincinnati would pull to within 28-17 but, Illinois outscored them 17-0 in the fourth quarter. Illinois had 522 total yards with 210 rushing yards and 312 passing yards. Cincnnati had 456 total yards, and had the games only turnover. The two teams combined for 12 penalties. after
The Illini are outscoring teams 43.5-25.5 so far this season. Illinois is averaging 493 total yards a game including 363.5 passing yards. On defense, Illinois is giving up 431.5 total yards per game including 324.5 passing yards. The Illini are even in turnovers with 2 takeaways. Illinois is 15/29 on third down conversions and hasn’t attempted a fourth down conversion. Illinois is 7/8 scoring in the red zone with 4 touchdowns.
Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has completed 74% of his passes for 728 yards with 6 touchdowns and a pick. Running back Josh Ferguson has 18 carries for 96 yards, and is also the leading receiver with 6 catches, 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. Donovonn Young has 22 carries, 70 yards and 2 touchdowns. Seven Illini receivers have at least 4 catches.
Washington is 6-1 ATS overall, 4-1 against teams with winning records, 18-7-1 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 5-2 in September, 2-5 on grass, 2-7 after passing for more than 280 yards, and 1-4 after a straight up win of 20 points or more.
Illinois is 4-0 ATS in neutral site games, after a straight up win and after allowing 20 points or less, 7-19 after passing for 280 yards or more, 2-7 after allowing 450 yards or more, 1-4 after allowing 20 points or less, 2-9 overall, 1-7 against teams with winning records, 1-8 after gaining 450 yards or more, and 0-7 after a cover.
Although this is technically a neutral site game, there will be many more fans wearing blue and orange than purple and gold. Illinois has surprised some people by starting off 2-0, and especially with the blowout win over a talented Cincinnati team. However, Illinois has struggled on defense in both games so far, and neither Southern Illinois nor Cincinnati are as explosive on offense as Washington. The Huskies should roll in game, even on the road.
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