The huge Land of Lincoln Trophy is on the line in this one. Stud Quarterback Dan Persa returns from an ruptured Achilles injury from last year. Many people considered him an Heisman candidate before the injury.
I believe this game is going to be decided in the trenches.
Northwestern ranks 23rd in the nation in rushing averaging 221 yds per game. Illinois is 6th nationally in rushing defense only allowing an average 57 rushing yards per game. So this is going to be some knock em sock em in your face ole time Big Ten football! The passing game has been sub-par for both teams.
Illinois has a good quarterback in Nathan Scheelhaase but their passing game ranks 95th in the nation averaging 196 yds per game.
Northwestern’s passing game is worse. They are 103rd in the nation averaging 179 per game. I believe the key to this game is how long Persa is going to be able to play.
They have a competent back-up in Colter who leads the team in passing and rushing.Persa is going to have to play at least 3 quarters for Northwestern to stay in it.
I expect him to do so, he is a gamer with huge guts. He can pass and he can run,and barring another serious injury,I think he will play the whole game and keep it close. The defenses on both sides have been playing pretty good all year.
Illinois is 4-0 at home and Scheelhasse can run it also.
It looks like this will be another one of those games where a late score is going to win it. I do think Illinois will prevail, but don’t be surprised if Northwestern pulls off a late upset.
Even though my winning streak was broken last week it couldn’t have happened at a better time….. I sacrificed a loss for a MEECHIGAN victory. Not a bad trade off!
Danny Dee Sawicki B1G Pick of the week is Northwestern getting 8 1/2 points.
Last Week’s Pick: San Diego State +10 1/2 (L)
Season Record: 2-1-1