Illinois hosts Western Kentucky in a Week 2 non-conference game at 7:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, Sept. 9.
The Illini are coming off a 24-21 home win against Ball State that was a little too close for comfort requiring a blocked field goal as time expired to seal the win. Western Kentucky breathed a little easier in their Week 1 win, scoring the first 17 points on their way to a 31-17 win over in-state rival Eastern Kentucky.
Below, find the game time, TV and online information for Saturday’s Illinois-Western Kentucky game.
Illinois-Western Kentucky live updates, score
Stay here for updates during the game.
Illinois-Western Kentucky game time, details
Time: 7:00 p.m. CT
Date: Saturday, Sept. 9
Location: Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
The line: Western Kentucky -7.5
Illinois-Western Kentucky preview
Illinois and head coach Lovie Smith got off to an inauspicious start in the first game of the former Bears coach’s second season, going down to the wire against an opponent they were favored to beat by at least a touchdown. A win is a win, but now the Illini face a much tougher opponent in Western Kentucky.
The Hilltoppers rose to the top of the Group of 5 last season under the tutelage of head coach Jeff Brohm, whom the Illini will see in November at the helm of Purdue. Under Brohm, Western Kentucky built the highest scoring offense of 2016, a pass-heavy unit that averaged 45.5 points per game.
That attack has lost much of its teeth from last year in Brohm, NFL 2nd round offensive lineman Forrest Lamp, 3rd round wide receiver Taywan Taylor, leading rusher Anthony Wales and 1,000-yard receiver Nicholas Norris. However, it returns quarterback Mike White and is now led by new head coach Mike Sanford Jr., previously the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame.
As for Illinois, it will be breaking in a new starting running back with freshman Mike Epstein after a strong debut against Ball State, recording 86 yards from scrimmage and scoring two touchdowns.