Illinois Fighting Illini Line Up One More Time Before Big Ten Play

By josephsmith
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Illinois Fighting Illini have one more game to gear up for before they begin conference play with a trip to Lincoln to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers. They first need to concentrate on the task at hand: the University of Miami at Ohio.

On Saturday, the Redhawks and coach Don Treadwell will be visiting Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois. Coach Tim Beckman and his Illini team will need to prepare his team that is in desperate need of a victory. The Redhawks have started off the 2013 campaign 0-3. In last week’s game against Cincinnati, the Redhawks only managed to produce 87 yards of total offense. This is the same Cincinnati team that the Fighting Illini put up 45 points against in their second game of the season.

Miami is struggling using a triple-option offense this season. This is a difficult offense to master without the right personnel. The offense must have multiple threats carrying the ball, as well as a durable quarterback who can do his part in the rushing game. The most important factor in an effective triple-option offense is deception, and the ability to read a defense and think on the fly.

The quarterback must be able to make a snap decision and give the ball to a ball carrier who has the highest probability of gaining positive yards. The quarterback is very important in this offensive scheme.

The Redhawks’ quarterback this season is senior Austin Boucher. Boucher is not much of a threat carrying the ball and is more of a pocket passer. With the lack of success running the ball so far this season, it may be time to allow Boucher the opportunity to sit back in the pocket and move his team down the field with his arm — an arm which has shown great potention on occasions.

If the Redhawks’ offense continues to sputter, this game could provide the Illini offense with a lot of opportunities to move the ball up and down the field. Quarterback Nathan Sheelhaause has already had a very productive season. If his offense has possession of the ball for the majority of the game on Saturday, watch for Steelhause to put up some very big numbers. Illinois should walk away from this game with a clear victory.

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