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2015 Illinois Football Opponent Preview: Western Illinois Leathernecks Scouting Report

The Leathernecks return some talent, but they're a victim of a tough schedule in 2015.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

To kick off our coverage each week, we'll be posting brief scouting reports that include some basic facts about Illinois' opponents -- Western Illinois is the next team up. The Leathernecks were the victim of a brutally tough schedule in 2014, but a good amount of returning talent is giving fans reason for hope.

I got most of the below information from this page. It's a fairly detailed overview of the Leathernecks so make sure to check it out if you're looking for more.

Western Illinois Leathernecks (1-0)

Head Coach: Bob Nielson | Record: 9-15

Conference: Missouri Valley (FCS)

2015 Outlook:

Once again Western Illinois has a brutal schedule. Their three non-conference games are against Eastern Illinois, Illinois and Coastal Carolina. And, of course, the MVFC schedule is never easy. The Leathernecks must travel to Northern Iowa, Illinois State and North Dakota State. With that schedule, the playoffs are going to be a reach....But even if the playoffs are out of reach, Western Illinois has the talent to make things interesting week in and week out.

Returning Statistical Leaders:

  • Passing: Trenton Norvell (2,891 yards)
  • Rushing: Devon Moore (337 yards)
  • Receiving: Lance Lenoir Jr. (1,030)
  • Tackles: Kris Harley (35)
  • Sacks: Kris Harley (3.5), Eddy Holtschlag (3.5)
  • Interceptions: David Griffith (1)

2015 Results:

Week 1 vs. Eastern Illinois (W 33-5) - The Leathernecks opened the year with a surprising win over Eastern Illinois at home. Lance Lenoir was a special teams nightmare for the opposition, racking up a combined 160 punt/kick return yards; he also added a 19-yard touchdown reception.

*****

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