In this edition of the Writing Illini roundtable the guys look at who the Illinois defense should key on in order to bring home the win this weekend when they take on the Purdue Boilermakers in West Lafayette by answering the following question: Who exactly is the most dangerous Boilermaker?
Austin: DeAngelo Yancey is a beast. He has got to be one of the best freshman in the Big Ten, and his ceiling is incredibly high. His speed and hands make him a quarterback’s friend. The Illini are going to have to double up on Yancey all game long if they hope to shut him down this weekend.
Rees: The most dangerous Boilermaker is running back Akeem Hunt. He is a versatile running back that the Illini have a reputation of not being able to stop. If the Illini lose this game it will be because of Hunt.
Ricky: Even though no player on Purdue truly scares me coming into Saturday’s match-up, I will have to give my most dangerous player nod to running back Akeem Hunt. Hunt leads the team in rushing yards, but has not scored a single rushing touchdown this season. Thus far, Illinois has had a rough time stopping the run and that might be the area that Purdue will want to attack this weekend. If Hunt can get things together and attack the Illini defense, then the Boilermakers will make it 21 straight Big Ten losses for Illinois.
Ryan: I think it’s dangerous to simply blow past Akeem Hunt as the most dangerous Boilermaker because Illinois has had well documented failurse in stopping the run this season. So, I want to give him proper respect and mention his rankings on the team. Hunt is versatile and is currently showcases that versatility by being 1st on the team in the rushing game with 99 carries for 347 yards and 1st on the team in receptions in the passing game with 36 catches for 343 yards. Clearly, Illinois is going to have to contain him if they want to have success Saturday.
However, with all of that said, I am going to choose Danny Etling as the most dangerous Boilermaker in this particular match-up, and here’s why. I get the feeling that Illinois is going to unleash the full force of their offense on Purdue, and it’s going to force Purdue away from the run game in order to keep up on the scoreboard. Last week, Purdue found themselves down 28-7 in the 2nd quarter, and were forced to the pass game. Etling responded by completing 21 of 33 passes for 223 yards and 1 TD, but he also tossed an interception in the Purdue loss. The bottom line is that Illinois needs to put them behind on the scoreboard by multiple scores while controlling the quarterback along the way, and victory will follow.