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Illinois Football: Previewing Miami (OH)’s Defense

The Fighting Illini will look to continue their offensive ways when the Miami (OH) RedHawks come to Champaign on Saturday. The defense of Miami (OH) has not been as good as they have been in the past, yet they did hold Cincinnati to 14 points in their tilt this past weekend.

Allowing over 300 passing yards per game and just under 30 points a game, Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase will have high hopes for a career day against the Hawks.

Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest reason for the defensive struggles for the RedHawks is the fact that over 50 percent of the roster is made up of either freshmen or redshirt freshmen.

Being one of the youngest teams in all of college football, this team has the potential to be a very good team down the road. However, right now, their main focus is learning how to play ball together and learn the system.

Chris Wade, Kent Kern and Dayonne Nunley may be the three best players on this Miami defense. Wade, a senior linebacker, has recorded 17 solo tackles this season, with 2 being tackles for loss. He was given the honor of being a preseason all conference pick, and the Illini line will have their hands full with him all game long.

Kent Kern, middle linebacker and sophomore for the RedHawks, will cause issues for the passing game and running game all day. He leads the team in tackles with 23 solo and 3 for loss. He contains the ability to break up passes, has great speed up the middle, and can keep a quarterback off balance all game long.

Dayonne Nunley is a senior cornerback, and is one of the leaders on this Miami squad. He has a pick and six pass break ups this year, and has easily been the best defender of the passing game for this team.

Nunley has been able to keep some of the passes away from his side of the field, but the same can’t be said for the rest of the team, as the have 3 picks through three games combined.

Teams have had little trouble against this squad, and the main reason is youth.

The Miami (OH) RedHawks will be in for a test on Saturday. With one of the most improved offenses in the country going against them, I think it will be hard for Miami to do much to keep Scheelhaase and company at bay.

All bias aside, Miami will simply be overmatched, and this one could be over before the teams hit the halftime locker rooms.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @AustinJabs85.

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Topics: Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Miami (OH) Redhawks

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