The Illinois Fighting Illini begin camp today in Champaign and that means that the football season is right around the corner. We continue our countdown to kickoff as the Fighting Illini will host the Miami (OH) RedHawks in their fourth game of the season. Can Illinois finish their non-conference schedule with a winning record and with more wins then last year? Let’s have a look.
2012 Record: 4-8 (3-5 in the MAC)
Key Losses: QB Zac Dysert, WR Nick Harwell, WR Andy Cruse, DB Pat Hinkel
Key Returners: WR Dawan Scott, RB Jamire Westbrook, LB Chris Wade, DB Brison Burris, DE Wes Williams, DB Davonne Nunley
Player to Watch: WR Dawan Scott
The most interesting position for Miami (OH) this season will be their wide receivers. Coming into 2013, the RedHawks will be without three out of their top four receiving leaders from last year. They lost Andy Cruse and Luke Swift to graduation and Nick Harwell as he transferred to the Kansas Jayhawks. Dawan Scott started eleven games at wide receiver in 2012 and recorded 851 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Scott will need to step up and be the new #1 option at WR for Miami (OH)’s new starting quarterback this season.
Prediction: Illinois 48 – Miami (OH) 10
By this time in the season, the Fighting Illini should begin to feel a groove on offense in Bill Cubit’s new system. If healthy, Nathan Scheelhaase should be a very productive part of the offense and it will show against Miami (OH). On defense, expect the Illini to cause havoc for whoever is the starting quarterback for the RedHawks. Senior Austin Boucher seems to be the favorite for the starting job and the Illinois defense should be able to give him a hard time in this match-up.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.
Like the us on Facebook at Writing_Illini.