Check out the Northwestern vs. Illinois fearless prediction and game preview.
Northwestern (8-3) vs. Illinois (2-9) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, November 25th
Game Time: 4:00 pm ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
Is Northwestern really that good?
On a six-game winning streak with a slew of overtime wins, a few close calls, and a 39-0 blasting over Minnesota to keep hopes alive for a possible ten-win season.
This is a far cry from the team that needed to rally late to get by Nevada and got destroyed by Duke.
The defense has taken its game up a few notches, the offense is playing smart and efficient, and the production has been there in a terrific season that flew under the Big Ten radar.
Is Illinois really that bad?
Losers of nine straight, this is a baby-young Fighting Illini team that’s trying to get through all the problems that happen when fielding a team full of true freshmen.
Beating Northwestern would be the season. It wouldn’t do anything to the Wildcats’ bowl world, but for Illinois, this would mean everything.
One Reason Why Northwestern Will Win
Dead last in the Big Ten in total offense and total defense. Illinois isn’t doing much of anything right.
The biggest problem? The offense just can’t score.
It’s not coming up with enough good points off of any of the breaks. There’s the occasional turnover, and there’s the occasional moment when the field position isn’t all that bad, but the offense just can’t seem to do anything right.
The O has failed to score more than 14 points in any of the last four games and hasn’t scored more than 17 points in seven of the last eight games.
Northwestern’s defense has stepped up its play, doing a great job against the run and a phenomenal job inside the red zone.
It’s not letting teams come up with anything easy. Illinois needs easy.
One Reason Why Illinois Will Win
The Northwestern offense isn’t lighting it up like it should.
It’s not pushing the ball deep, relying on the defense and running game to serving in low-scoring games that slow down to a stop at times.
It’s not a scintillating brand of football, and Illinois has to take advantage of it. It has to keep the game from getting out of hand, and then it’ll be time to open it up. It might not have the talent to let it rip, but the O has to get creative.
Illinois can’t play this straight. I’ll have to rely on the defense to sell out and create a few turnovers, and then the offense has to throw a few curveballs and every trick play available.
Make Northwestern press. This isn’t an offense built to do that.
What’s Going To Happen
Illinois doesn’t have anything consistent it can rely on to come up with the upset. However, it’ll put up a fight.
Northwestern is the type of team that can keep both sides in the game – it’s not going to run away and hide – but Illinois just doesn’t have any semblance of an offense to pull this off when it has its chances.
Northwestern vs. Illinois Prediction
Northwestern 27, Illinois 14
Northwestern -16.5, o/u: 46
5: Thanksgiving dessert
1: Thanksgiving dinner … 3
Must See Rating
5: The inside of your eyelids for Thanksgiving nap
1: The Star … 2