Illini vs Purdue preview: Big Ten basement battle



The state of Illinois football has long been declared a disaster area. FEMA will be sending aid soon to clean up the wreckage created my Superstorm Tim Beckman. Actually, the true creator of this mess is Athletic Director Mike Thomas, but that’s another column for another time. Clearly, Beckman is in way over his head, and Thomas had no clue what he was doing when he hired him.

I’ve seen NFL mock drafts with four Illini defenders being taken in the first three rounds. And what has Beckman been able to do with that talent on defense? 31.5 ppg against. second to last in the Big Ten.

They’re also last in the league in scoring. So hey, at least there’s balance. Illinois really has no chance to win a game again this season. Purdue is awful, but they at least have a single conference victory. And they’ll be playing the Illini with bowl eligibility on the line. They’ve been much more competitive in their losses than Illinois. The Illini are the worst team in a very bad conference. The league is as down as I’ve ever seen it. But enough about how bad the 2012 Illini are. That’s been said enough.

Now it’s time to preview this week’s contest against Purdue, who comes in as a six point favorite. For that we turn to our good buddy T-Mill over at SB Nation’s home for all things Purdue: Hammer and Rails 

an excerpt from his preview:

Let’s put it this way: when you can only score 17 points, at home, against Indiana’s defense you know the offense is bad. The Hoosiers average giving up almost 250 yards on the ground but Illinois could only gain 196 yards on the ground.

As bad as things have been for Purdue it really only got shelled early against Minnesota. Against Michigan, Wisconsin, and Penn State the defense held strong for at least a quarter and a half before falling apart due to exhaustion since the Nordfense couldn’t stay on the field. We now have a chance to turn the tables.

Tom stated that the pass defense is the weakness for Illinois, but the run defense has hardly been a wall in giving up 24 scores on the road.

Really, Purdue should be able to put up a few score early and feel comfortable. I know it is only Tim Beckman’s first year, but he’s done nothing to stop the offensive decline for the Illini. This should be our offense’s best day since Marshall and the defense shouldn’t have a problem slowing Illinois down.

And here some gameday vitals provided by T Mill

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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