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Matchup: Illinois Fighting Illini @ Fresno State Bulldogs
Date: Friday, December 3, 10:15 ET
Location: Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, CA
Game Line: Illinois -5.5
Pat Hill’s 7-4 Fresno State Bulldogs will look to add another BCS conference scalp on its mantle Friday night when it takes on the 6-5 Illinois Fighting Illini Friday night. Illinois became bowl eligible last week with a big 48-27 win over Northwestern on Saturday. The win may have solidified Zook’s job after a disastrous last two seasons in Champaign. Zook has a 27-44 record in his time at Illinois and this season will mark only the second time in six seasons he has been to a bowl game. Against Northwestern, the story was all about RB Mikel LeShoure, who put together one of the best games we’ve seen in all of college football this season. LeShoure carried the rock 33 times for an incredible 330 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Illini offense. All told, Illinois carried the ball 70 times for 519 yards and five touchdowns against the Wildcats defense. Priority one for the Bulldogs to win this game, will be to stop the Illinois running game. Fresno State bounced back after an embarrassing loss to Boise State and a heartbreaking loss to Nevada to beat Idaho 23-20 last week. Fresno State was ahead most of the game, but a late Idaho rally left them needing a 1-yard touchdown plunge from A.J. Ellis with 14 seconds left to get the victory. Fresno State dominated Idaho on the stat sheet, putting up 371 yards against Idaho’s 210 total yards, but four lost fumbles and an Idaho kickoff return for a touchdown kept the Vandals in the game throughout. Last year, Fresno State and Illinois played a thrilling game in Champaign. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown with two seconds left to make the score 52-51 Illinois and opted to go for two instead of the tie. On the two-point conversion, QB Ryan Colburn heaved a desperation pass in the air while being brought down by an Illinois defensive lineman that somehow found its way into the hands of G Devan Cunningham for the score and the win.
Free College Football Picks: Fresno State +5.5
Prediction: Fresno State 35 Illinois 32