Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The Fighting Illini may rank poorly in most categories, but they still have a few talented players to keep an eye on versus Michigan.
The 4-1 Michigan Wolverines are set to take on the 2-3 Illinois Fighting Illini in Champaign on Saturday. Illinois ranks near the bottom of the barrel in most metrics, but they still have a couple players on both sides of the ball that are talented and could have a future in the NFL.
Today we’ll be looking at Illinois’ team stats and the players to watch on the Fighting Illini.
- Total Offense- 103rd
- Total Defense- 96th
- Red Zone Offense- 52nd
- Red Zone Defense- 106th
- Time of Possession- 118th
- Team Passing Efficiency- 103rd
- Sacks Allowed- 110th
- Scoring Offense- 57th
- Scoring Defense- 81st
- Passing Yards per Completion- 112th
- Passing Offense- 109th
- Rushing Offense- 63rd
- Rushing Defense- 98th
- Passes Intercepted-66th
- Passed Had Intercepted- 57th
- 3rd Down Conversion Pct- 72nd
- Team Sacks- 22nd
- Sacks Allowed- 110th
Players to Watch
- Peters status is up in the air for this game, and it’s sounding like he may be doubtful unfortunately. However, Peters has put together a respectable season for Illinois, ranking in the top-35 nationally and top-5 in the Big Ten in passing touchdowns (10) and points responsible for (72).
- 6.59 yards per carry, which ranks third in the Big Ten and 24th in FBS. Last season, he ranked third in FBS in yards per carry (8.48)
- Ranks 29th in FBS and fourth in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game (95.5)
- Has the 4th-best offensive grade among running backs in the nation according to Pro Football Focus (86.7).
- Career rushing numbers: 290 carries, 2,068 yards, 7.1 yards per carry, 14 touchdowns.
- Ranks 24th in FBS and third in B1G in yards per carry (6.59)
- Ranks 29th in FBS and fourth in B1G in yards per game (95.5)
- Has two 100-yards games this season (144 vs. EMU and 134 vs. NEB) and six career 100-yard games.
- Led FBS in runs of 70+ yards (4), second in runs of 50+ (7) and 80+ yards (1), and third in 60+ (5) in 2018.
- Career yards per carry of 7.13 ranks third among all active FBS player with at least 200 carries.
- Has had 10 scrimmage plays over 50 yards in his career, all coming against Big Ten competition.
- A USC transfer, Imatorbhebhe has 15 receptions for 220 yards and 4 touchdowns. Imatorbhebhe stands 6-foot-2, 215 pounds and possesses big play ability.
- Ranks third in the nation in both sacks (1.4 per game) and TFLs (2.1 per game) on the season.
- His 7.0 sacks already are more than or equal to Illinois’ season leader in 18 of the last 23 seasons.
- His 3.5 sacks at UConn tied for the fifth-most sacks in a game in Illinois history and marked the first Illini with 3.0+ sacks in a game since 2011.
LB Jake Hansen
- No. 16 graded linebacker in the nation and No. 2 in the Big Ten by PFF (81.6).
- Leads the nation in both forced fumbles (4) and fumbles recovered (3) .
- 39 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, and one interception.
LB Dele Harding
- 15 tackles at Minnesota
- Leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth in FBS in tackles per game this season (11.2).
- Had a 40-yard pick-six against Minnesota
For more Michigan-Illinois game notes, click here , where much of the players to watch information was provided.