Illinois Football: Who is Nebraska’s Most Dangerous Player?

Who should the Illini keep their eyes on in their showdown with the Cornhuskers? Who might cause the most damage? The staff makes their thoughts public on who they feel is the most dangerous Cornhusker in this edition of the Writing Illini Roundtable.

Ryan: Coming in to this game I feel like DE Randy Gregory is the most dangerous player on the Nebraska defense, and as such is the most dangerous player on their team. Clearly, they have plenty of offensive weapons that I could’ve selected, but for Illinois to pull the upset the O-Line is going to need to give Nathan Scheelhaase plenty of time to pick apart the Husker D.

Sep 14, 2013; Lincoln, NE, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) runs away from Nebraska Cornhuskers defender Randy Gregory (44) in the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. UCLA won 41-21. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Gregory has only started 3 games this season, but he leads the Huskers in tackles for loss with 5 for 20 yards. He has compiled 17 total tackles, half of a sack, 5 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception that he returned for a 33 yard touchdown in his most recent game. His ability to disrupt the timing of the offense, as evidenced by his 5 QB hurries, has the potential to be very problematic for an Illini team that likes to sling the ball around the field.

In a recent article by Sam McKewon which can be seen here, Gregory made clear his intentions for Saturday’s game when he let his inner thoughts slip.

“If I get a clean shot on him, maybe I can take him out,” Gregory said. “Maybe I shouldn’t say that. But I always think about things like that, but in the back of my mind I have to remember: He’s a mobile quarterback.”

Clearly, Gregory is dangerous, and Illinois needs to neutralize him if they want to have any chance of success in Lincoln.

Austin: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, who I talk about in my defensive preview, has got to be the most dangerous Husker this season.  With four picks, teams have struggled throwing on his side of the field, and if he picks you off, he can make you pay.  The speedy cornerback has the ability to score quickly in the open field, and he can get to almost any ball thrown in his direction.  Scheelhaase will have to be aware of where he is on the field all day long.

Ricky: Tommy Armstrong Jr. will need to be the most dangerous Cornhusker. With Taylor Martinez out again, Armstrong Jr. will need to take the reins and show that he is the man for the job. I’ve heard comparisons to former Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier. Armstrong Jr. will need to prove these comparisons right if the Huskers want to win.

The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer, co-editor Ryan Kraemer, and staff writer, Austin Jabs.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.

Like the us on Facebook at Writing_Illini and follow us on Twitter @WritingIlliniFS.

Topics: Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Randy Gregory, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Tommy Armstrong Jr.

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