Saturday, September 8
10:30 ET

The biggest factor (or non-factor) of this game will be the health of Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase. Even if the star quarterback plays, he will likely be restricted by an ankle injury. The Fighting Illini offense has had
problems with consistency even with Scheelhaase in the game. They need him to make plays through the air and ground if they want to move the ball and sustain drives. Their rushing attack looked very skeptical last week as Scheelhaase was the leading rusher (7 carries for 21 yards). The defense of Illinois ended up carrying the team last week in a win over Western Michigan. Expect that defense to allow Illinois to hang around, but ultimately Arizona State’s quick-strike attack should pull away in the second half to win the game and cover the spread. Ultimately, the Sun Devils are more stable, disciplined, and healthy than a Fighting Illini program still trying to figure things out with a new coach, injured star QB, playing in a tough environment on the road. Take Arizona State -4.

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