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Run the Ball
Nebraska currently is last in the Big Ten in total defense. While Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase will want to throw the ball, there isn't a lot of need to.
The Huskers are currently ranked 10th in the Big Ten in rush defense. The young defensive unit allows too many gaps, allowing opposing teams to run right through.
If Illinois can play to this weakness, it should be successful at moving the ball down the field. With a talented running back in Josh Ferguson, the Illini should give the sophomore the opportunity to run. If the Huskers didn't adjust during their bye week, it shouldn't be difficult for him to do.
Pass the Ball, Too
The Illini just need to focus on their offensive game. If this game becomes a shootout in any way, Illinois will stay competitive by also throwing the ball.
Illinois really doesn't need to throw the ball. In fact, the biggest room for error will be when the ball goes in the air, as that is where Nebraska's defense is still decently strong. However, Scheelhaase is first in the Big Ten in passing yards, passing efficiency and total offense. There's no point in not letting Scheelhaase toss the ball off.
As long as passing the ball is balanced with running it straight at Nebraska, Scheelhaase and crew could make a dent and scare the Huskers a bit.
This seems easy enough but it's crucial for Illinois.
Since Bill Cubit took over as the Illini's offensive coordinator, the team has made some huge leaps in the right direction. In fact, under Cubit, Illinois has jumped ahead at least 80 spots nationally on long scrimmage plays, scoring offense, passing efficiency, passing offense, total offense and turnovers lost. That's pretty impressive.
Adding to is, the Illini have scored a school-record 161 points in their first four games of the season. That beat a nearly 100-year-old record of 158 points in the first four games for Illinois.
Illinois needs to play with that knowledge in the back of their head. The offense has made such significant improvements that there is no need to walk into any matchup worried. It may not be the easiest road but the Illini have fought back.
The team will have to keep fighting but the confidence gained from how far they've come will be beneficial.