Rob Veno FREE Play: Eastern Michigan at Illinois
by Rob Veno
Rob Veno Sports
Not real sure what to make of HC Lovie Smith's team at this point despite their 2-0 start. Wins over Akron & Connecticut have yielded some eye popping across the board defensive numbers but circumstances suggest waiting before hopping aboard the Illini train. The Zips were playing their first game in a total coaching transition year while the Huskies were led by a true freshman QB making his first career start. Each were already projected FBS bottom feeders but the situations Illinois caught them in made those two opponents even weaker.
That being said, UConn QB Jack Zergiotis threw for 275 yards on 21-31-67.7% passing and kept his team under the lofty 21.5 point price wire-wire. EMU dual threat sr. QB Mike Glass is a far more difficult challenge as indicated by the numbers he's posted thus far 54/75/525/72% comp & 5 TDs to just 2 int's. That stat line compiled versus Kentucky & Coastal Carolina appears impressive enough to project him causing Illinois trouble.
My power ratings show a huge strength of schedule gap of +19.5 thus far in favor of the Eagles which could show up here. It's about 50/50 right now as to whether the #1 Illini RB Reggie Corbin is able to play in this one due to injury which could push the youthful backfield committee which mustered only 3.7 yards per carry last week against Connecticut into action.
EMU's 15-2 ats mark as an away underdog (88.2% cover rate) throws a technical angle on top of the other handicapping advantages they have in this one. They'll have to keep Glass upright and keep the running game in check much better than last week but feel there's value here in HC Creighton's team so look here is toward the taking the points.
Recommendation: Eastern Michigan +7