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Will the Trashman hold on to the traveling  trophy he won last week?  The oddsmakers are favoring the Huskers over the Fighting Illini by 18 points.  So what exactly is a Fighting Illini?  Well Illini can refer to:  Illiniwek, an alternative name for the Illinois Conferdaration, a group of Native American tribes in the upper Mississippi River Valley, Illinois Fighting Illini, the intercollegiate sports teams of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Or the Illini (Amtrack) passenger train.

     Chief Illiniwek, the school's officially banned but still onmiprecent symbol was officially adopted as the University of Illinois' official mascot in 1926.  Chief Illiniwek wore a feathered headdress and beaded buckskins oftentimes dancing while the school band played at athletic events.  On Feb. 21, 2007. after years of protests and pressure from the NCAA, the University of Illinois retired its mascot, Chief Illiniwek.  Since then the school has been without an official mascot, but are still known as the 'Fighting Illini'.

      Illinois is currently one of just 3 Big Ten Schools without an official costumed mascot, Indiana (What the heck is a HOOSIER, anyway?) and Michigan Wolverines being the other two.  Iowa boasts Herby Hawkeye, Maryland has Testudo the Turtle, Michigan State has Sparty, Minnesota has Goldy Gopher, Northwestern has Willie the Wildcat, Ohio State has Brutus Buckeye, Penn State has the Nittany Lion, Purdue has Purdue Pete,  Rutgers has the Scarlet Knight, Wisconsin has Bucky Badger, and of course, Nebraska has Herbie Husker and Lil Red.

      Nebraska's first mascot was  the Corn Cob in the 1940's, followed by Johnny Husker in 1956, Husker Man in 1962, Mr. Cornhead in the mid 60's, Harry Husker in 1965-1973, Herbie Husker in 1974-2002, Lil Red in 1993 and Herbie Husker II in 2003.  

     OK, now that you are much, much smarter about mascots, on to the game thread predictions:  The Fighting Illini are horrible, defensively.  They are ranked  127th out of 129 teams giving up an average of 524 yds/game.  The Illini are 122nd in rush defense, allowing 240 yds/game, and 122nd in pass defense, allowing  284 yds/game.  Head coach Lovie Smith fired his DC on Oct. 29th and now runs the defense by himself.

      Offensively, the Illini are ranked 11th in rushing averaging 249 yds/game.  But they are a weak passing team, averaging only 166 yards/game, and ranked 113th in that category.

      OK< Get your predictions up!  Huskers are favored by 17 1/2.  Over/under is 68, so expect some scoring.

BONUS THREAD PICK:  All 3 Florida teams lost 2 weekends ago.  And Miami, Florida State and Florida all lost AGAIN, last weekend.  Will they all lose again this week?  Get your bonus picks up after your Husker/Illini pick.  All you have to do is pick which Florida team will lose.  (Miami, Florida State, and/or Florida)  There will be a separate trophy awarded for this pick!

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Huskers will run wild on the weak Illinois defense, scoring at will with both running and passing plays.  Illinois will break some long runs and will score on several, but the Big Red will be too much and will hang a half a hundred on the scoreboard.

Final Score:

Corncobheads/Harry/Herbie/LilRedHuskers    -  52

The Team With No Mascot                                  - 27

Bonus Pick:

Miami will lose their 3rd straight game.

Florida State will lose their 3rd straight game.

Florida will eek out a win.

(Hey, 2 out of 3 'ain't bad.....Like Meatloaf used to sing)

Nebraska - 38 and Illinois -24.  It is going to be cold, but Adrian says he has a hand warmer.  We should be good.

This game may be closer than some think.  With the change of defensive coaches they have improved that portion of their game.  Two teams in rebuild mode.  I think we win but do not cover.

NU. 32

Lovies boys 24

All we need to do in this game... have been saying this all week is... TACKLE and TACKLE good, dont let that little back slip by or AJ bowl you over. Shut down their run.. AJ will be pulled and the 2nd stringer will come in, (AJ is not a passer). 

NU have practiced their snow angels, will be ready for the cold - 45

NU will give no "Love" to the Ill- 20

Illinois has played 3 road games. They won at Rutgers 31-17 (in front of a crowd likely the size of a Nebraska C-1 football game). Lost 49-20 at Wisky. Lost 63-33 at MD. In decent weather, I would certainly have us in the 48-56pt territory and the overs a lock. Unfortunately the forecast is game temps between 26-32 degrees with a 20-25mph wind for the duration. This probably favors less of an aerial show which hurts our offense a tad but probably helps our defense with the inept throwers for IL. I think we win comfortably, but I can foresee a late score putting the 17pt betting line in doubt. A punt return or couple defensive scores would be huge to settle in with a ground-pound/dink and dunk to keep the Illini in the distance. A quick note....NU is 4-4 vs the spread (not counting Bethune which I would totally consider a cover) covering in their last 4 games. I’m going to barely say 5 in a row on a hopeful IL missed extra point/go for 2 type deal late.....but I wouldn’t bet on this one.

IL   19

NU  38

I was hoping the wind forecast would change but it has not.....Huskers still cover and win comfortably

NU:  48

UI:  28

48-17 nu

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