Opening their season with back-to-back wins over Akron and UConn, the Illinois Fighting Illini have since fallen back to Earth with consecutive home losses to Eastern Michigan and Nebraska.

Likely needing to reach a bowl game to preserve this current coaching staff, the 2-2 start has not left the Illini with much wiggle room.

Unfortunately for the Illini, their schedule does not offer many breaks in the month of October. Traveling to Minneapolis to face the 4-0 Golden Gophers on Saturday, Illinois then hosts No. 19 Michigan on October 12 and No. 8 Wisconsin on October 19.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, redshirt senior running back Reggie Corbin emphasized the sense of urgency for Illinois to win immediately.

Via Jeremy Werner of Illini Inquirer:

Missing the UConn game on September 7 with a hip injury, Corbin returned vs. Eastern Michigan and has surpassed 130 rushing yards in both of Illinois’ losses.

Sitting at an even 2,000 career rushing yards, Corbin is just 539 yards away from tying Rashard Mendenhall for tenth in program history.

Roughly two-touchdown underdogs, Illinois will likely need to find their early-season passing success if they are going to pull off the upset. Redshirt junior quarterback Brandon Peters has thrown for 390 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception in the Illini’s two wins. In their two losses, he has totaled just 375 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. In the September 21 loss to Nebraska, Peters registered just 78 passing yards on 21 attempts.

Saturday’s action from TCF Bank Stadium will kick at 3:30PM ET and be televised on BTN.