Friday, October 14, 2011
Week 7 college football previews
By Scott Powers
Ohio State (3-3) at No. 16 Illinois (6-0) on Saturday When, where: 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Radio: WIND-560 AM
What you need to know: Illinois is back home for the sixth time this season. The Illini are off to their best start since they went 7-0 in 1951. Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins has flourished this season and leads the nation in receiving yards. A lot of that credit has to go to sophomore quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, who has taken strides in second year as the starter. Ohio State is 0-2 in the Big Ten, but very well could be 2-0. Ohio State went up 27-6 on Nebraska last week before quarterback Braxton Miller left the game with an injury, and the team fell apart. Miller is expected to play Saturday.
Scott Powers’ prediction: Illinois 31, Ohio State 24
Northwestern (2-3) at Iowa (3-2) on Saturday
When, where: 6 p.m. at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: ESPN 1000 AM
What you need to know: Northwestern is riding a three-game losing streak as its travels to Iowa for a night game. The Wildcats’ main trouble has been holding onto leads in the second half. They were up on Illinois and Michigan in the third quarter the last two weeks, but dropped both games. Northwestern has had success against Iowa in recent years, and it has won their last three meetings. The Hawkeyes have been up and down this season. Their pass game has been strong, but they’d like to get more out of their running attack. They lost 13-3 to Penn State last week.
Powers’ prediction: Iowa 34, Northwestern 31
Western Michigan (4-2) at Northern Illinois (3-3) on Saturday
When, where: 2:30 p.m. at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill.
TV: Comcast SportsNet Chicago
Radio: WSCR-670 AM
What you need to know: Northern Illinois and Western Michigan possess the two most potent offenses in the MAC. Both defenses have proven to be at times shaky, and this game could end up being a shootout if that’s the case again. Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish and Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder should be fun to watch in this one. Both are multi-talented. Northern Illinois has won the last two meetings.
Powers’ prediction: Western Michigan 48, Northern Illinois 45
South Dakota (4-2) at Illinois State (3-3) on Saturday
When, where: 3 p.m. at Hancock Stadium in Normal, Ill.
What you need to know: Illinois State has an upcoming rough stretch of games beginning with South Dakota, which is ranked in the FCS top 25. Illinois State played well on both sides of the ball in last week’s 38-13 win over Missouri State. Redbirds running back Ashton Leggett rushed for a career-high 178 yards in the win. South Dakota’s losses this season were to Air Force and Wisconsin.
Powers’ prediction: South Dakota 31, Illinois State 24
Eastern Illinois (1-5) at Murray State (3-3) on Saturday
When, where: 3 p.m. at Stewart Stadium in Murray, Ky.
What you need to know: Eastern Illinois has lost four in a row. The Panthers’ defense has struggled this season, but the offense wasn’t great either in last week’s 48-16 loss to Eastern Kentucky/ Murray State runs a no-huddle offense and loves to throw the ball. Eastern Illinois’ pass defense has been better than its run one.
Powers’ prediction: Murray State 38, Eastern Illinois 35
Western Illinois (2-3) at Indiana State (4-2) on Saturday
When, where: 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, Ind.
What you need to know: Western Illinois had last week off following their upset of Southern Illinois. Terriun Crump had five catches for 163 yards in that win. He has had four 100-yard receiving games this season. Indiana State has scored 37 or more points in four games this season.
Powers’ prediction: Indiana State 35, Western Illinois 24
Youngstown State (2-3) at Southern Illinois (2-3) on Saturday
When, where: 2 p.m. at Saluki Stadium in Carbondale, Ill.
What you need to know: Southern Illinois has dropped its last two games and will be looking to get back on track for homecoming. The Salukis have won their last nine homecoming games. Last week, they lost 9-3 to North Dakota State. Southern Illinois’ offense should have an easier time against Youngtown State, which has allowed 30-plus points in its last two games.
Powers’ prediction: Southern Illinois 31, Youngstown State 21