Illinois is getting the season started in Week 0 for the second straight season. This year, the Illini will open at home with a nonconference showdown vs. Wyoming.

A little over a week out from that game, Big Ten Network analysts Rick Pizzo and Dave Wannstedt are tackling what to expect in that game. Needless to say, both analysts see what could be a closer-than-expected showdown in Champaign.

“When I look at this game, Wyoming’s a team that runs the ball for over 200 yards per game. They’re a good football team,” explained Wannstedt. “And Illinois right now, they have an identity. With Chase Brown, they are going to run the ball and play defense. You’ve got two teams that are very similar with how they’re going to try and win the game…a turnover or two one way or another could be a determining factor.”

Pizzo also highlighted the importance of Illinois starting the season with a win before a quick turnaround in Week 1 for a conference game.

“Like Nebraska, very important for Illinois to get off on the right foot,” Pizzo said. “You’ve got a short week and then a Friday night conference opener the following week on the road against Indiana.”