Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Memorial Stadium – Champaign, Ill.
Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin as Illinois hosts Nebraska for a Friday night game of college football. Blasphemy? Quite possibly, but here we are.
The last time Nebraska visited Champaign, they lost a heartbreaking 14-13 battle that was truly a microcosm of what the season would become. Two years later, the Big Red returns ready to rough up Lovie Smith’s crew.
Wes Lunt no longer takes snaps for the Illini, so the Blackshirts will have to handle JUCO quarterback transfer Dwayne Lawson. Illinois does have a playmaker on offense in wide receiver Mike Dudek who holds Illinois’ freshman record-holder in receptions and receiving yards. Look for assistance in the form of senior Malik Turner (712 yards, 6 TDs in 2016.)
Defensively, Illinois offers a unit with six returning starters including linebacker Tre Watson who was second in tackles last season with 102 (38 solo). The Illini surrendered an average of 32 points and 405 yards per game last season including 31 in a 15-point loss to Nebraska.