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“They know it’s going to take that kind of effort to get where we need to go and be _ and make sure that we’re ready to play when we go over there,” Zook said.

Illinois seems to have the perfect combination to expose the Hoosiers’ biggest weaknesses.

Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase threw for a career-high 391 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s comeback victory over Northwestern. Reciever A.J. Jenkins set a new school record with 268 yards and tied another with three TD catches. It could be a dangerous combination against a defense that Wilson acknowledged blew coverage assignments against Penn State.

Plus, the Illini are averaging 209.8 yards on the ground and now face the Big Ten’s worst-ranked run defense.

It’s not just the offense that has an advantage.

While Wilson has bemoaned the fact that Indiana’s receivers had seven drops last week and that he needs the running backs to pick up extra yards after getting hit, the most consistent problem has been the offensive line.

This week’s test may be the most difficult.

Illinois leads the Big Ten with 17 sacks and went into the weekend No. 5 in the nation.

“After some of the losses they’ve had, I’m sure they’re going to be fired up. They’re playing a ranked team and we can’t take them lightly,” said Michael Buchanan, Illinois’ pass rush specialist. “I think it’s really important to just get pressure on the guys.”

Wilson, meanwhile, is trying to figure out who can play.

Last week’s starting quarterback Dusty Kiel got dinged up in the Penn State loss but is likely to start again unless Edward Wright-Baker recovers from an ankle injury. Top rusher D’Angelo Roberts missed last week’s game with a concussion. Three of Indiana’s top three receivers _ Damarlo Belcher, Kofi Hughes and Duwyce Wilson _ have been playing through nagging injuries, too.

But even if the Hoosiers are at full strength, they still have to eliminate the mistakes.

“We’re making strides on that (the defensive) side,” Wilson said. “I still think for the standard that we need, short term and long term, it’s going to be a tremendous challenge this week and it needs to be a heck of a lot better.”