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The Reliaquest Bowl will see the Illinois Fighting Illini entering a showdown against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Monday, January 2, 2023. Kickoff is at 12:00 PM ET on ESPN2.
The Fighting Illini are small favorites (-1) in their game versus the Bulldogs, with the over/under at 46.5 points. (On the moneyline, the Fighting Illini are -117 and the Bulldogs are -104.)
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Game Info and Betting Lines for Illinois vs. Mississippi State
- Game Day: Monday, January 2, 2023
- Game Time: 12:00 PM ET
- TV Channel: ESPN2
- Location: Tampa, Florida
- Stadium: Raymond James Stadium
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Illinois Betting Insights
- Mississippi State is 6-5-1 ATS this season.
- In games they have played as at least 1-point underdogs this season, the Bulldogs are 1-2 against the spread.
- The teams have hit the over in seven of Mississippi State’s 12 games with a set total.
Illinois Stats & Insights
- Illinois has the 67th-ranked offense this season (386.8 yards per game), and has been even better on the other side of the ball, ranking second-best with just 263.8 yards allowed per game.
- Illinois has the 84th-ranked offense this season (25.4 points per game), and has been more effective on the other side of the ball, ranking best with only 12.3 points allowed per game.
- On the defensive side of the ball, Illinois has been a top-25 unit in terms of passing yards, ranking fifth-best by giving up just 165.4 passing yards per game. The Fighting Illini rank 94th on offense (208.1 passing yards per game).
- Illinois sports the 46th-ranked offense this season in terms of rushing yards (178.8 per game), and has been better on defense, ranking eighth-best with just 98.4 rushing yards allowed per game.
- Illinois ranks 74th in third-down percentage this season (38.9%), but has been playing really well on the defensive side of the ball, ranking sixth-best in the FBS with a 29.0% third-down percentage allowed.
- Illinois has forced 29 total turnovers (first in the FBS) this season and have turned it over 15 times (45th in the FBS) for a turnover margin of +14, the second-best in college football.
Illinois’ Best Players
- Tommy DeVito has racked up 2,394 yards (199.5 ypg) on 233-of-334 passing with 15 touchdowns compared to four interceptions this season.
- Chase Brown has racked up 1,643 yards on 328 carries while finding the end zone 10 times as a runner. He’s also caught 27 passes for 240 yards (20.0 per game) and three touchdowns through the air.
- Reggie Love III has carried the ball 59 times for 277 yards (23.1 per game) and two touchdowns.
- Isaiah Williams’ team-high 595 yards as a receiver have come on 72 receptions (out of zero targets) with five touchdowns.
- Brian Hightower has reeled in 37 passes while averaging 41.1 yards per game and scoring two touchdowns.
- Pat Bryant has been the target of zero passes and compiled 33 receptions for 450 yards, an average of 45.0 yards per contest. He’s found the end zone two times through the air this season.
- Seth Coleman has collected five sacks to lead the team, while also recording five TFL and 43 tackles.
- Isaac Darkangelo is the team’s tackle leader this year. He’s totaled 67 tackles, seven TFL, and one sack.
- Sydney Brown leads the team with six interceptions, while also putting up 66 tackles, three TFL, one sack, and 12 passes defended.
Mississippi State Betting Insights
- Mississippi State’s ATS record is 6-5-1 this season.
- Mississippi State has a 1-2 record against the spread in games it was an underdog by 1 point or more this season.
- Mississippi State has gone over in seven of their 12 games with a set total (58.3%).
Mississippi State Stats & Insights
- Mississippi State ranks 61st with 393.2 total yards per contest on offense, and it ranks 39th with 350.3 total yards ceded per game on defense.
- Mississippi State ranks 36th in the FBS with 32.7 points per game on offense, and it ranks 50th with 24.2 points allowed per contest on defense.
- Mississippi State’s pass offense has been thriving, accumulating 313.4 passing yards per game (11th-best) this season. Defensively, it ranks 39th by surrendering 206.8 passing yards per game.
- Mississippi State’s rushing offense has been a bottom-25 unit this season, posting 79.8 rushing yards per game, which ranks third-worst in the FBS. On the defensive side of the ball, it ranks 57th with 143.5 rushing yards allowed per contest.
- From an offensive perspective, Mississippi State is putting up a 38.9% third-down conversion rate (74th-ranked). It ranks 28th in the FBS defensively (33.9% third-down rate allowed).
- After forcing 20 turnovers (21st in the FBS) and turning the ball over 16 times (59th in the FBS) this season, Mississippi State owns the 33rd-ranked turnover margin of +4.
Mississippi State’s Best Players
- Will Rogers has thrown for 3,702 yards (308.5 ypg) while completing 68% of his passes and recording 34 touchdown passes with six interceptions this season.
- Jo’quavious Marks is his team’s leading rusher with 103 carries for 532 yards, or 48.4 per game. He’s found paydirt nine times on the ground, as well. Marks has also chipped in with 45 catches for 274 yards.
- Dillon Johnson has piled up 499 yards (on 90 attempts) with three touchdowns, while also grabbing 47 passes for 274 yards.
- Rara Thomas leads his squad with 626 receiving yards on 44 receptions with seven touchdowns.
- Rufus Harvey has recorded 472 receiving yards (39.3 yards per game) and three touchdowns on 50 receptions.
- Caleb Ducking has racked up 467 reciving yards (38.9 ypg) and eight touchdowns this season.
- Tyrus Wheat has five sacks to lead the team, and also has seven TFL, 47 tackles, and one interception.
- Nathaniel Watson is the team’s tackle leader this year. He’s totaled 97 tackles, eight TFL, four sacks, and one interception.
- Emmanuel Forbes has a team-high six interceptions to go along with 36 tackles and 10 passes defended.