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Miami-Illinois preview

Who: Miami (0-3, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) vs. Illinois (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten).

When: Noon today

Where: Yager Stadium (60,670), Oxford.

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: WMOH-AM (1450)

Stat pack: Miami QB Austin Boucher 21-of-52 (40.4 percent), 258 yards, 1 TD, 3 int.; QB Austin Gearing, 20 carries, 59 yards; TE Steve Marck, 6 receptions, 59 yards, 1 TD; LB Kent Kern 34 tackles; QB Nathan Scheelhaase 63-of-98 (64.3 percent), 884 yards, 7 TD, 2 int.; RB Donovonn Young, 35 carries, 128 yards, 2 TD; Ryan Lankford, 10 receptions, 225 yards, 1 TD; LB Jonathan Brown, 38 tackles.

Worth noting: Miami often plays Big Ten schools – 57 times, to be exact – but Illinois usually isn’t one of them. This is just the third meeting between the two teams and the first since, literally, before Pearl Harbor. The Fighting Illini trounced the then Redskins, 45-0, on Oct. 4, 1941 – two months and three days before the Japanese sneak attack that propelled the United States into World War II.

Pressure is on: Miami’s offense, still. The RedHawks haven’t scored an offensive touchdown since the second quarter of the opener at Marshall. That’s 10 quarters without breaching the end zone. They reached Cincinnati’s 20-yard line just once last week and celebrated by going backwards 26 yards, thanks to two penalties and two sacks.

Edge goes to: Illinois. The Fighting Illini actually beat Cincinnati, 45-17, and seem to be much better than thought by many going into the season. Coming off a tough, 10-point loss to Washington at their home away from home in Chicago and with a bye week to lick any wounds, they are going to want to get back on track with the conference schedule looming next week.

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