2. Kaden Feagin
This selection might come as a surprise to most of you, but I think there is a chance Kaden Feagin is a key player against Florida Atlantic. Illinois needs some help at running back behind Reggie Love III, and Feagin might be that answer.
I am not worried about Love at all. I think he is going to do his thing and run wild against Florida Atlantic. But offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. continues to rotate the running backs in and out frequently. The bad part about that is Illinois hasn’t found a consistent backup to Love just yet.
This season Love has 32 carries and 5.1 yards per carry. Quarterback Luke Altmyer is second on the team with 26 carries and 5.6 yards per carry. Illinois’ main backup at running back has been Josh McCray, who has 19 carries and 2.5 yards per carry.
The Illini are a far less scary team when Love is out of the game. But against Penn State, the Illini started to dabble in the Feagin game. The true freshman monster received the second-most carries – tied with McCray and Altmyer with four carries – and he would finish with the second-most yards.
Feagin had four carries for 15 yards while McCray had four carries for negative two yards. In the Florida Atlantic game, I wouldn’t be shocked if Feagin sees more carries and gets a chance to take over the backup role to Love. He is going to have a great chance to succeed as well.
The Owls are currently giving up 157 yards per game on the ground, which ranks No. 82 in the country. Illinois’ running backs will likely have a big day. If Feagin gets his chance behind Love, then I think there could be a change for the rest of the season in the backup role. Look for Feagin to get his shot and for him to help seal away the game early on.