Iowa Hawkeyes (6-3) at Illinois Fighting Illini (4-5)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 15, 2014, 12:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini +5.5 -- Over/Under:
The Iowa Hawkeyes and Illinois Fighting Illini play Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have lost two of their last three games and both have come on the road. Iowa wins games with a defense that’s allowing 23.4 points, 334.6 yards, and has forced 13 turnovers and 22 sacks. The Iowa Hawkeyes have allowed 24 or less points in 10 of their last 13 games. John Lowdermilk leads Iowa with 71 tackles and Drew Ott has 10.5 tackles for loss. Offensively, Jake Rudock is completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. Rudock has one touchdown and one pick in his last two games, and Iowa has 16 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Tevaun Smith and Kevonte Martin-Manley have combined for more than 700 receiving yards and three touchdowns, while Jake Duzey has nine of his 27 receptions in his last three games. Iowa’s ground game is averaging 3.8 yards per carry, as Mark Weisman leads the way with 542 yards and 14 touchdowns. No other Iowa player has rushed for more than one score this season.
The Illinois Fighting Illini have lost four of their last five games and have had an extra week to prepare for this matchup. Illinois’ struggles start on defense, as it’s allowing 36.7 points, 483.1 yards, and has forced 11 turnovers and 17 sacks. The Illinois Fighting Illini have allowed 30-plus points in 10 of their last 13 games. Mason Monheim leads Illinois with 83 tackles and Earnest Thomas III has 8.5 tackles for loss. Offensively, Illinois is expected to get Wes Lunt back on the field, as he’s completing 66.5 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. Lunt has missed four of the last five games with an injury but has 17 of the Fighting Illini 24 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Mike Dudek and Geronimo Allison have combined for more than 1,200 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Illinois ground game is averaging 3.4 yards per carry, as Josh Ferguson and Donovonn Young have produced more than 700 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Ferguson has scored at least one touchdown in six of the nine games.
The Hawkeyes are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games and 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. The Fighting Illini are 6-16 ATS in their last 22 conference games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Hawkeyes are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings in Illinois, while the home team is 7-0 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
You can expect an angry Iowa Hawkeyes squad after getting blown out by Minnesota last week. Iowa is a solid team when it plays its physcial style of football and even with Lunt back on the field, Illinois is simply a bottom feeder in the Big Ten. I don't see this game being close, as Iowa should beat up the Fighting Illini on both sides of the ball.