In Big Ten action on Saturday, it’s the Fighting Illini of Illinois at the Hawkeyes of Iowa. In the game, it features the 5-5 Fighting Illini taking on the 8-2 Hawkeyes. Illinois still has an outside chance of winning the Big Ten West, but would need to win this game, and next week against Northwestern, and hope for an Iowa loss on the road at Nebraska. With a win in this game, the Hawkeyes would be in the Big Ten title game against the winner of Ohio State / Michigan.
The Hawkeyes are coming off back to back wins, including 22-0 thrashing over Rutgers last weekend. Iowa has two losses on the season, coming to Penn State on the road, and at home to Minnesota. For Illinois, they are 5-5, despite starting the season 3-5. Illinois is coming off an overtime win over Indiana last weekend, where they scored 48 points. Illinois beat Minnesota on the road the previous weekend.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are -3 over Illinois in this game on Saturday.
Iowa Hawkeyes 2023
The Iowa Hawkeyes have been quite the story in 2023. Iowa continually gets bashed for not being an offensive team, but in the end, they are winning games. The Hawkeyes are one of the best defensive teams in all of College Football. The Hawkeyes have allowed 43 points total in their last five wins. Even in their most recent loss, they allowed just 12.
Offensively though, the struggles are real. Iowa is 130th in College Football in passing yards, and 104th in rushing yards. Combined, the Hawkeyes are picking up less than 250 yards per game as a team. The Hawkeyes are scoring just 18.8 points per game, while the defense is third in the nation, allowing 12.3 per game.
Iowa will wrap up their regular season next week at Nebraska, and then wait from there to see what their postseason will look like.
Illinois Fighting Illini 2023
The Fighting Illini, at 5-5, need one more win to get into a bowl game. It’s either this one, or next week against Northwestern. The Wildcats may also be looking to become bowl eligible with a win as well. Illinois is one of five teams in the Big Ten West with a 3-4 mark, trailing Iowa.
It appears Luke Altmyer will return to quarterback for the Orange and Blue in this game. Altmyer has tossed 13 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions on the season. Last week, he missed the game, and back up John Paddock was sensation for them in the win. Paddock has tossed for 729 yards and six touchdowns in limited time.
Kaden Feagin is the lead running back for the Illini. He needs 5 more carries to reach 100 on the season, and is 62 yards shy of 500. Isaiah Williams is one of the most talented receivers in the Big Ten, and will be a threat against the Hawkeyes. WIlliams needs 107 yards to reach 1,000 via the air.
Ugly in Iowa City
This is a pretty ugly College Football game. Iowa is great defensively and not very good offensively. Illinois is decent offensively, and pretty bad defensively. The game is in Iowa City, and the Hawkeyes know what they need to do. Iowa wins this game, albeit ugly, and they do it late. The point spread is pretty spot on, but Iowa could win by 1 or 2 with a late field goal. Take Illinois +3 over Iowa on Saturday.