Nov 16, 2013; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (2) runs for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football vs. Purdue Staff Predictions

The Illinois Fighting Illini are looking to live up to their name today as they invade Ross-Ade Stadium seeking their first Big Ten victory of the season. It’s going to take a total team effort, but the opportunity is certainly there for the Illini to finally snap their Big Ten worst 20 game conference losing streak.

The Purdue Boilermakers are struggling mightily in their own right, having lost every single game this season against FBS opponents. Purdue is last in the Big Ten in scoring offense while averaging 12.7 ppg, last in the Big Ten in rushing offense averaging 65.4 ypg, and 10th in the Big Ten in passing offense averaging 194.2 ypg.

Defensively, the Boilermakers are 11th in the Big Ten in Scoring Defense while allowing 38 ppg, 10th in the Big Ten in rush defense allowing an average of 230.1 ypg, and 5th in the Big Ten in pass defense allowing an average of 214.6 ypg. They have also allowed the second most Pass TD (19).

Statistics aside, here is how the staff of Writing Illini sees this one playing out.

Ricky: I expect this game to be close even though I want the Illini to win by the big margin. The Illini defense has been pitiful this season and that could be the downfall yet again this weekend against the Boilermakers. Nathan Scheelhaase should be able to shine and I expect Josh Ferguson to put in his work. However, I’m not too confident in the defense at this time.

Score: Illinois 24 Purdue 21

Austin: As I said in my defensive preview, the Illini will finally end their 20 game losing streak this weekend.  Why?  The Illini offense is going to over match the Purdue defense in every facet of the game.  Add to that the numbers the Boilermakers give up on the defensive side of the ball and it is a no win situation.  Scheelhaase will be out to prove his worth this weekend, and the kid is going to light it up in West Lafayette.

Score: Illinois 49 Purdue 14

Rees: Purdue is one of the worst teams in the nation and even though the Illini are as well, the Illini at least have a solid win under their belt.  The Illini break the 20 game Big Ten losing streak and build momentum into next season.

Score: Illinois 35 Purdue 17

Ryan: Statistically, Purdue’s defense is horrid, and Illinois’ is even worse. Luckily for Illinois, this isn’t even close to the case offensively. Purdue’s offense is putrid. Illinois’ offense is very capable of exploding for 45 points under the right conditions. That said, one factor to keep a close eye on will be the wind. Current expectations are for 20-30 mph winds, and that could potentially hinder the high powered Illini passing attack. Despite the wind projections, I’m still feeling awfully good about Illinois’ chances of running up the score in this one behind a record day from Josh Ferguson.

Score: Illinois 42 Purdue 20

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

Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.

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Tags: Illinois Fighting Illini Josh Ferguson Nathan Scheelhaase

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