Week 12 college football preview
November, 18, 2011
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com
Minnesota (2-8) at Northwestern (5-5)
When, where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill.
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: WGN-720 AM
What you need to know: Northwestern can earn bowl eligibility with a win over Minnesota on Saturday. The Wildcats have returned to .500 after having a 2-5 record. Northwestern’s offense has been consistent throughout its three-game winning streak, and the defense has continued to improve. Minnesota isn’t a team to overlook, though. The Gophers did defeat Iowa and lost to Michigan State by only seven points.
Scott Powers’ prediction: Northwestern 42, Minnesota 20
No. 17 Wisconsin (8-2) at Illinois (6-4)
When, where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Radio: WIND-560 AM
What you need to know: Illinois’ season has been a tale of two halves. The Illini went 6-0 during the first part. In the second half, they’ve spun the wrong way and gone 0-4. They’ll be the underdogs again this weekend against Wisconsin. Illinois coach Ron Zook is feeling the pressure and even walked out of a press conference this week after being asked about his job. This week could be Zook’s last chance to save himself. A win over Wisconsin would be notable. Illinois’ offense will have to come to play for that to happen. The Illini haven’t scored more than 14 points in their last four games.
Powers’ prediction: Wisconsin 31, Illinois 17
Boston College (3-7) at Notre Dame (7-3)
When, where: 3 p.m. Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.
Radio: WLS-890 AM
What you need to know: Notre Dame has bounced back nicely after its loss to USC last month. The Irish have won their last three games and are back in the AP poll. They should be able to roll again this week against Boston College. The Eagles have struggled to score points for most of the season. They haven’t put up more than 19 points since September. They did pull out a 14-10 win over NC State last week.
Scott Powers’ prediction: Notre Dame 41, Boston College 17
Northern Iowa (8-2) at Illinois State (7-3)
When, where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Hancock Stadium in Normal, Ill.
What you need to know: This could be one of the better FCS games this week. Northern Iowa is ranked No. 4 in the FCS rankings, Illinois State is at No. 14. Illinois State is also riding a five-game winning streak and had last week off to prepare for Northern Iowa. After a rough start to the season, Illinois State’s defense has come through for the Redbirds. Northern Iowa’s losses have been to Iowa State and North Dakota State.
Powers’ prediction: Illinois State 27, Northern Iowa 24
Southern Illinois (3-7) at Indiana State (6-4)
When, where: 1 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, Ind.
What you need to know: Southern Illinois is coming off one of its better games of the season with its 45-28 win over Eastern Illinois. The Salukis’ offense has especially clicked the last three weeks. Outside of a season-opening loss to Penn State, Indiana State has been competitive with everyone on its schedule. The Sycamores offense has, at times, struggled this season.
Powers’ prediction: Indiana State 37, Southern Illinois 31
North Dakota State (9-1) at Western Illinois (2-8)
When, where: 1 p.m. Saturday at Hanson Stadium in Macomb, Ill.
What you need to know: Western Illinois closes out its season against one of the top FCS schools in North Dakota State. Western Illinois dropped its fifth consecutive game last week when its offense struggled again in a loss to South Dakota State. The Leathernecks haven’t scored more than 17 points in their last four games. North Dakota State did endure its first loss last week when Youngstown State pulled off an upset.
Powers’ prediction: North Dakota State 31, Western Illinois 17
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
Final Illinois 18 Louisiana Tech 35 Final Rutgers 40 North Carolina 21 Final North Carolina State 34 UCF 27
Final Cincinnati 17 Virginia Tech 33 Final 15 Arizona State 36 Duke 31 Final Miami (FL) 21 South Carolina 24 Final/OT Boston College 30 Penn State 31 Final Nebraska 42 24 USC 45
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State