Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football: Miami (OH) Gameday Preview

Illinois vs. Miami (OH)

Saturday, September 28th – at Memorial Stadium; Champaign, Illinois

  • Kickoff – 11:00 a.m. (CST)
  • Television – BTN
  • Radio – Fighting Illini Radio Network | Sirius/XM Radio (92/196)
  • Weather – Mostly sunny, 49-75 degrees, 1% precipitation (via accuweather).
  • Odds – Illini are listed as 25-point favorites (via oddsshark).

Quick History

  • 3rd meeting, Illini lead series (2-0).
  • Head coach Tim Beckman is 1-1 against Miami (Ohio) as a head coach. He beat them 49-28 in 2011 when he led Toledo, and fell to Miami (OH) 31-24 in 2009.
  • Illinois’ defensive coordinator Greg Colby and Miami (OH) defensive coordinator Jay Peterson coached together at Northwestern in 2002 and 2003.
  • Illinois executive senior associate athletics director and football sport administrator Jason Lener served as Miami (OH)’s deputy athletic director from 2006-11.

Do you think the timing of the bye week was a positive thing?

“Yeah, I do. As young as we are and the nicks and grinds and soreness that some of the guys have. We were able to get them a little rest, but we were still able to, as I told them, work their minds. They were able to get in and evaluate themselves in the last three games. As a coaching staff, we were out on the road doing some things, but I was able to sit back with Coach Banks and a couple of the other coaches that stayed in and got to evaluate. So it was a good time to evaluate after the first quarter (of the season), as we call it.”

On the Cincinnati/Miami (Ohio) game from last week:

“I thought Miami came out and played a good football game, had their chances and opportunities to win it, made some key turnovers to keep Cincinnati out of the end zone, but just couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. I see about the same thing, I’ve known Coach Treadwell for a long time and respect what he has done at Michigan State and Miami, so I know they’re in the process of building, also. So you can see them in the three games, from Marshall down to Cincinnati, they have gotten to become a much better football team.”

On Aaron Bailey’s contributions:

“I’m happy for him. The kid loves the game, he loves this team, and he loves Illinois. It’s a great feeling as a head football coach because he is very spirited in what he would like to get accomplished and very spirited in making this football team the best that it can be, and I think it will just progress, as I’ve stated before, after this first quarter. We’re going into the second quarter now; you’ll see that Aaron can become more involved in the offensive game plan.”

How important to the defense is Jonathan Brown?

“Jonathan is a great player and I’ve been very, very blessed in my time of coaching the defensive side ball with some outstanding linebackers, guys that do win the Butkus (Award) and guys drafted in the first five picks in the NFL. Jonathan Brown is an outstanding football player. I love the way he studies the game on his own or with the freshmen, the Mason Monheims last year. Even when Jonathan was hurt, he was still there for Mason and Mike Svetina. I think a lot of people see what he does on Saturday, but he practices that way and when he comes to the fieldhouse or comes over to watch film, he is all in and he wants to make sure that this football team is moving forward. It is very important to him.”

Three Keys to Victory

  • Keep on doing what has gotten you wins. Play smart ball, force pressure on the quarterback, and Scheelhaase must only run the ball when he has to, not when he can. If the Illini are true to who they are, on offense and defense, they should get by the Redhawks in this week 5 tilt. (Austin)
  • Eliminate turnovers. If this RedHawks team hopes to stay in this game they are going to have to force Illinois to turn the ball over multiple times. A week ago, the RedHawks forced the Bearcats to throw 2 interceptions and also lose 1 fumble. Those 3 turnovers kept a game that should not have been close to a 2 score affair. If Illinois protects the ball, there is no reason that they shouldn’t more than cover the 25 point spread that Vegas bookmakers have set for this contest. (Ryan)
  • Play a clean game. This is one of those games that if you turn the ball over they can shock you. Keep the ball safe and the Illini should slide through this one with no problem at all. (Rees)

Gameday Thoughts

  • Illinois’ offense came out a little slow in their last game against the Washington Huskies. They only scored 3 points in the first half and didn’t get started until it was too late. Expect the Illini to get going a lot quicker this Saturday. Miami (OH) is not a very good football team and should be no match for the Illini on the defensive side of the ball.
  • The Illini are coming into this weekend’s match-up against the RedHawks after a much needed bye week. Illinois did not play very well against Washington and needed a week off in order to get their minds back on track. This is exactly the opponent you want Illinois to be playing if you are a part of Illini Nation. Thi should be a no contest kind of game before the team gets set to begin conference play next week.

Injury Report

The only player that Illini fans can expect to not see today is OL Tony Durkin. Durkin has an undisclosed injury that will most likely keep him out for the entire season.


The Fighting Illini have look good for the most part on offense with Bill Cubit’s new system. Nathan Scheelhaase should be a very productive part of the offense this week after a let down game against Washington. On defense, expect the Illini to cause havoc for Austin Boucher. This should be a very good game for the Illini as they will most likely go to 3-1 before beginning Big Ten play on October 5th.

Final Score: Illinois 52, Miami (OH) 3

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