Sep 14, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Josh Ferguson (6) rushes the ball against Washington Huskies linebacker Princeton Fuimaono (37) during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football Roundtable: Most Important Illini Heading Into Week Five?


The staff of Writing Illini takes a look at the Illinois Fighting Illini’s Week Five match-up with the Miami (OH) RedHawks. In this roundtable, the guys discuss who the most important Illini is heading into this weekend.

Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Austin: Nathan Scheelhaase is the most important Illini player heading into week five for one simple reason: he did not play as well as he had been against Washington. The Huskies’ defense is good, so that was to be expected, but given the fact that he had played very well in the previous two weeks, Scheelhaase needs to continue that trend to keep his confidence as high as it should be.

I understand that sometimes good defensive teams are going to shut you down, but for a player that has gone through peaks and valleys in his playing career, Scheelhaase needs to reassure himself that he has the talent he has shown all season long.

I expect big things from him against Miami (OH), namely 350 yards and 4 touchdowns. Write it down.  I will guarantee those numbers.

Ricky: Most people in Illini Nation are probably going to say that Nathan Scheelhaase is the most important Illini heading into this week, but in reality Josh Ferguson could be the most important Illini heading into week five. Yes, Scheelhaase is the heart and soul of the offense, but Batman will always need his Robin or his Nightwing. Ferguson is the Nightwing of the Illinois offense (Lankford being the Robin). In the first two games of the season, Josh hit off the big play and that is exactly what Illinois needs. Against Washington, that big play wasn’t there. Now, I know Washington was a better defense than SIU and Cincy, but Ferguson still needs to come up big. Sometimes, Batman and Robin aren’t enough. There are times when three guys to get the job done and that is exactly how the Illini offense needs to roll this weekend.

Rees: The most important Illini is Nathan Scheelhaase. The Illini need to get back on track quick. A solid game from Scheelhaase would get them going and the momentum will carry them.

What do you think, Illini Nation? Who is the most important Illini heading into week five?

The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer along with staff writers, Austin Jabs, Rees Woodcock, and Ryan Kraemer.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.

Follow Rees on Twitter @ReesISMe.

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Tags: Football Illinois Fighting Illini Josh Ferguson Nathan Scheelhaase