Illinois’ young defense will be tested against an offensive-minded Indiana team

Tim Banks vs. Seth Littrell

Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has done his part in improving the offense, but this is a game in which the defense has to come up big. Defensive coordinator Tim Banks has a young defense; one that has missed several tackles in various games and has picked up costly penalties for not being properly positioned. They face an Indiana team that offensive coordinator Seth Littrell coached to second in the conference in total offense, just under Ohio State. This is the same Indiana offense that has put up 47 points against Michigan earlier this year. Banks must get his troops ready for battle if they still want to stay in contention for a Bowl game as conference play is drawing to a close.

Josh Ferguson vs. Tevin Coleman

Once again, Josh Ferguson delivered for the Illini from a rushing and a receiving standpoint against Penn State this past weekend. One highlighted play featured a leap over a defender to the end zone. He has clearly become a spark plug in Cubit’s offense and is the main option on the field to get quick yardage. Another sophomore wearing No. 6 is Indiana’s running back Tevin Coleman, who led the team last year as a freshman with 566 yards for the year. He remains to be solid for the Hoosiers this year in ranking fourth in the Big Ten in rushing just under familiar names to the Illini like Wisconsin’s dynamic duo of James White and Melvin Gordon and Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah.

Nathan Scheelhaase vs. Indiana’s defense

Senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase had another fine performance, throwing over 300 yards for the fourth time this year, against Penn State. Despite a big individual performance, the loss was one of the most disappointing ones this year as his desperation pass got picked off in overtime to end the game. The last time the Illini won a conference game was in 2011 against the Hoosiers. 

Torrence is a junior in Media. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @TheRealT_S_4