Predictions: Illinois Week

Big Illinois balloon player is big. - Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Corn Nation staff put out their picks for Week 6 of the College Football season, including the Illini's visit to Nebraska.

Mike: Oooh, look!  Now we’ve got some real games to look at.

Nathaniel: There are some intriguing Big Ten matchups this week. I like it.

Cobby: I HEARD THAT NORTHWESTERN IS GOING TO SET A RECORD FOR ESPN GAMEDAY ON SATURDAY MORNING. A RECORD OF FEWEST FANS BEHIND LEE!

David: How many will be behind Kirk?  What if it’s just the WSU flag behind them?  That’d be hilarious.

James: I’m excited that we may get to see Tommy Armstrong play a bunch this weekend. Also I bet the overs on the game (60??). Announcing this publicly will probably bite me. Oh well.

Ty: I’m sorry, I’ve been up to my ears in teaching and coaching.  I hear it’s not going to be warm here on Saturday.  FOOTBALL WEATHER!!!!

Salt Creek: I’m probably going to be in lab (MAGIC IS HAPPENING), but I’ll have the games pulled up on my computer.

Brian: I’m just happy that there’s some cooler weather coming around. Granted, snow for the first B1G game of the year would be pretty epic in Lincoln, but alas, just rain and wind will have to do.

Michigan State (+1) at Iowa

Nathaniel: Iowa seem to be improving game by game and a loss would take away the fans hopes of being in the Conference Championship Game (haha) but I gotta gut feeling Iowa will pull this out since they actually have somewhat of an offense.  Iowa 16 Michigan State 12

Cobby: THIS GAME IS GOING TO BE SO BORING. DO THESE TWO SCHOOLS PLAY FOR A TROPHY? IF NOT THEY SHOULD PLAY FOR A GIANT SNAIL OR SOMETHING. MSU 2, IOWA 0

Aaron: I watched the Iowa/Minnesota game last week. Even though Minnesota was fairly inept, Iowa seemed solid. These are the kind of games Kirk Ferentz loves. I imagine a very conservative, twenty-punts-total-and-sneak-in-a-few-field-goals kind of game. Iowa 12, Michigan State 10.

James: MSU’s defense is going to clamp down on Iowa. But this is going to be a god awful boring game. Wake me up when it’s over.

David: I toyed with the idea of trying to watching every single Big Ten game this season for a while.  It’s games like this that led me to scrap that plan.  Michigan St. uglies it out 4-3.

Ty: I was high on Michigan State at the beginning of the season.  I’ve sobered up.  Iowa.

Salt Creek: I’m taking Michigan State here but it’s going to be a tight one. Keep this on until the fourth quarter.

Husker Mike:  Interestingly, Bill Connoly’s F/+ predictions also call for a 4-3 victory by the Spartans, David.   That being said, if you are offering an over/under of 7, I’m taking the over.  Even with these two teams.  But not by much.  And I’m taking the Squawkeyes.  This is the best defense Michigan State has seen this season, and while Iowa won’t score much on the Spartans, they won’t need to.  Iowa 10, Michigan State 5.

Mister Mike: Taking Iowa and giving the points to Michigan State.  Low scoring game: Iowa 14, Sparty 10.

Brian: Can we take Iowa seriously yet? I mean, there were some folks at the BTN who say that Iowa is the best 1 loss team in the Big 10 right now, not Nebraska. I am not sure how the new Gerg Davis offense will look against Narduzzi’s D, but at the same time, what’s Michigan State going to do to score? 4-3 could be a lot in this game… That being said, Iowa wins this because MSU just has no offense. (BTW, someone suggesting a 4-3 football game gives me automatic license to use this)

Ohio State (-7) at Northwestern

Nathaniel: I’m really looking forward to this game especially because of the QB battle.  I think Braxton Miller and Kain Colter will have no problem shredding each other’s defenses but it is going to come down to who makes the fewer mistakes.  This game is gonna be a shootout so it will come down to experience and who can deal with the pressure.  Therefore I give the advantage to Miller.  Ohio State 52 Northwestern 43

David: This one has massive letdown potential.  I have a very difficult time seeing how Northwestern slows down Ohio State.  If the Wildcats can ride the ininial wave of emotion and jump out to a 14-0 lead, they might be able to turn the trick.  They’re going to need some non-offensive points, too, I think.  OSU is just too much.  They’ll survive the early Northwestern energy and pull away in the end.  Enjoy the first half, it’ll be entertaining.  OSU 41, NW 20.

Cobby: I OWE A LOT TO JIM TRESSEL AND OHIO STATE. IF HE HADN’T GOTTEN HIS PROMOTION THIS SUMMER, I WOULD NEVER HAVE BECOME THE VICE PRESIDENT OF STUPID TITLES. TOSU 31, NW 10

James: Very excited about this one, but I think OSU outruns Northwestern. Should be a lot of fun though.

Ty: It’s hard to argue against the Urban Meyer juggernaut up there right now.  Ohio State by two touchdowns.

Salt Creek: Taking Northwestern in the shocker. Fitzgerald is legit. YES I STILL LIKE NORTHWESTERN. Stop judgin’.

Husker Mike: While I wouldn’t be surprised to see Northwestern pull off the upset, I’m can’t call it.  Northwestern is good...but not this good.  tOSU 42, NW 28

Aaron: I don’t think that Northwestern has the dogs to keep up with Ohio State. They could upset the Buckeyes with some turnovers/calls their way, but straight up, OSU wins. Buckeyes 42, Northwestern 31

Mister Mike: Should be a great game early.  I imagine the Cats keep it close until the half and then tOSU will pull away about midway through the 3rd quarter.  Just too much talent for NW to overcome.  If they can force 3 TO’s from tOSU, they might win this won.  That said, take tOSU and the points.  Ohio State 42, Northwestern 27

Brian: I kinda wonder if OSU fans thinks this will be a let down game. Meyer has this team going pretty well. Even though Wisconsin played them closer than I thought they would, I can’t see NW being marginally better on Defense than the Badgers were. NW is going to score some points, but Brax gonna Brax. Ohio State in Chicago.

LSU (-9.5) at Mississippi State

Nathaniel: As we have found out this season, SEC isn’t all about defense anymore.  Despite that I think this game won’t be as high scoring as some SEC Games we have seen this year.  Tigers 41 Bulldogs 27

David: I know next to nothing about Mississippi State.  The dart board says...Bulldogs with the upset!  31-29

James: LSU covers. I really like this LSU team, loss to Georgia aside. Feels like they finally have the triggerman they need.

Cobby: THE REAL REASON TO LOVE SEC FOOTBALL IS THE JAMBALAYA AND FAT BOTTOMED GIRLS. WHEN YOU GET A SCHOOL FROM LOUZEANNA AND ANOTHER FROM MISSIIISIISIISISIPI TOGETHER, YOU GET BOTH! COOKS 27, CUSHIN PUSHINS’ 24

Ty: LSU’s solid, not great, but solid.  Mississippi State hasn’t made much noise, but the upsets are the reason that the SEC is widely regarded as so deep.  However, LSU won’t lose this week.  Tigers by a field goal.

Salt Creek: LSU. I still think LSU wins the West, though obviously a loss to Alabama or A&M would change that opinion.

Husker Mike: LSU almost pulled off the win last week.  They will this week.  LSU 45, Mississippi Lite 27

Aaron: LSU is a quality team and should be able to handle Miss St at home this weekend. LSU 42, MSU 17

Mister Mike: No doubt about this one.  The luster’s come off of Miss St as the darling of the SEC.  Tigers bury them in this one.  LSU 38 Miss St 17.

Brian: Dan Mullen job watch anyone? I think it starts if they get shelled in this game. And it’s not going to be close, LSU should win this easily.

Missouri (+1.5) at Vanderbilt

Nathaniel: Vandy has played it close with a couple SEC opponents already this season though I think this is the game that puts them over the hump and gets the Commodores their first conference win.  Vandy 34 Mizzou 21

David: Hmmm...I think Mizzou has more talent than they’re given credit for.  They can put up points and Vanderbilt isn’t exactly a tough environment to play in.  Tigers win 31-14.

Cobby: MIZZURA FITS IN SO WELL IN THE BIG SEC. WHEN WE BEAT EM IN 1997, THEY PELTED ME WITH SO MUCH TRASH I FELT LIKE I WAS AT A WCW EVENT FROM LIKE 1972. VANDERBUILT 37, MISSOUREE 21

James: I like Mizzou outright here.

Ty: At least the SEC has games like this, too (wow, I’m espousing anger at the SEC today…).  Mizzou wins it.

Salt Creek: Missouri has been awfully quiet. Vandy has been, well, Vandy. Taking the Tigers here.

Husker Mike: S*** just got real, Mizzou.  Vandy 38, Mizery 24

Aaron: Yea, I agree with you Mike. Missouri needs this one to go bowling. The problem is, so does Vandy. The Commodores didn’t cancel all of those games against AQ opponents for a reason. Vandy 28, Tigers 21

Mister Mike: Vandy and Franklin all the way here, baby.  This could be a good audition for Franklin if someone backs a dumptruck full of money up to his doorstep to be their next coach.  Vandy 34 Mizzou 30.

Brian: Great, two overrated head coaches who get lauded for doing nothing. Give me Vandy, cause #PINKELFACTOR

Arizona State (+5.5) vs. Notre Dame (at ATT Stadium, Arlington)

Nathaniel: Even though these teams aren’t the greatest I think this could still be a fun matchup to watch.  With the Irish still reeling after last weekend’s bad display against Oklahoma and the Sun Devils moving their way up, I am ASU taking this game.  Devils 34 Catholics 24

James: ASU is better than you think, but they also still meltdown. I feel the confidence growing there though. This is gonna be a tough battle and a really tight game. I like Notre Dame to bounce back after losing at home last week, but Sparky will make it interesting.

Cobby: GOD I LOVE GAMES LIKE THIS. GOOD VS EVIL. RIGHT VS WRONG. NEW VS OLD. IT’S THE KIND OF GAME THAT YOU BREAK INTO YOUR DADS SECRET STASH AND OPEN THE 40-YEAR OLD SCOTCH THAT HE WAS SAVING FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION.  I SEE THE SUN DEVILS BRINGING THEIR RIGHTEOUS FURY DOWN UPON THE IRISH BIG TIME. ASU 56, NOTRE DAME 13

David: I like ASU.  They were the benificaries of the screw job of Wisconsin.  Good in my book. And did you hear about their helmets they’re sporting this week? They get the job done again and ride the wave into Pac-12 play.  ASU 24-10.

Ty: This should actually be a really good game.  Neither team is great, but both have a lot of tools.  I don’t think it’ll be a blowout either way, and will come down to who has the ball last.  Golden Domers at home.

Salt Creek: Sparky takes this one. Todd Graham is interviewing for his dream job in Austin. Brian Kelly is updating his resume.

Husker Mike: I’m still waiting for a reason to pick Notre Dame.  Gimme Sparky.  Devils 38, Irish 21

Aaron: No one is picking Notre Dame, so I guess I will. Irish 24, Sparky 21.

Mister Mike: ASU outright.  Take the points.  ASU 27 Domers 24

Brian: Ironically, I’m not working this game, as my regular job beckons and the Cowboys/Broncos game will be the next day. Don’t forget, there will be alternate uni’s for both teams this year. This is a odd game, where I don’t think both teams are as good as we think, but that tends to cancel each other out, doesn’t it? Give me ND, cause the stadium will be there for them more than ASU, and the Sun Devils are coming off of beating USC and getting Kiffin fired, so that’s not much.

Washington (+7) at Stanford

Nathaniel: I don’t think Washington pulls the upset here like they did in Seattle last season but they will keep this game close.  Stanford’s offense hasn’t convinced me they are a legitimate BCS title contender this season and with UCLA, Oregon and Notre Dame still on the slate the Cardinal have a long way to go towards achieving that.  Cardinal 27 Huskies 23

David: Washington’s got a nice little squad, but Stanford is almost at an elite level right now.  If the Huskies can find a way to pull this out, it will be a major statement they’re back.  If this game was in Seattle, they might have a chance, alas, it’s not.  Stanford wears down the Huskies, 38-28.

James: I think Washington is going to surprise a lot of people here. Huskies upset Stanford again.

Ty: They Huskies are good this year, but they have to play Stanford in Palo Alto.  Give me the Cardinal in this one.

Salt Creek: TREE.

Husker MIke:  This should be the game of the day.  Take the tree, but it’s going to be close.  Stanford 31, Washington 28

Aaron: I’m actually going to go with the upset this week. We haven’t had any really big upsets so far this year. Huskies 28, Cardinal(s) 24

Mister Mike: Sark has the Huskies playing lights out right now.  That HUNH offense has done wonders for Price.  That said, I still think Stanford wins this one straight up, but I don’t think they cover.  Stanford 31, Washington 27.

Brian: I don’t get how Washington is gonna pull this game off, especially in Frisco. David Shaw is way better at dictating the flow of the game, save Oregon, as anyone in the Pac 12. Plus, do you trust Sark’s bunch away from Seattle? I don’t. Stanford here.

Illinois (+10.5) at Nebraska

David: A Bo Pelini led team has yet to lose after a regular season bye week.  I don’t see that changing here.  Illinois has as many issues if not more on defense and the Huskers will slow down the Illini enough to pull out the win.  In the end, it will be a lot more comfortable of an outcome than some of you panic monkeys are expecting.  Husker offense puts up a big number: 59-24.

Cobby: I HATE PLAYING ILLINOIS. THEY PRODUCE SO MUCH CORN IT’S HARD FOR ME TO ROOT AGAINST THEM. I MEAN THAT SHIT MAKES GREAT BOOZE. YOU EVER TRIED ANY ETHANOL? I RECOMMEND THE DENISON RYE 2007 VINTAGE. GREAT STUFF MAN. IT WILL MESS YOU UP BIG TIME.  NEBRASKA 35, ILLINOIS 31

Nathaniel: Nathan Scheelhaase is a dual threat quarterback and Nebraska has a history of struggling against QBs like him.  I am excited about Armstrong and Kellogg taking snaps for another game because they both seem comfortable with the offense and rotating the QBs could cause problems for the Illinois defense.  For the Huskers to emerge victorious it is going to come down to smart play calling on offense as well as the ability to tackle and make adjustments on defense.  I am confident these things will happen.  Huskers 45 Illini 34

James: One thing I know is there will be a lot of points scored in this game. The Illinois offense is a different animal this year and should scorch Nebraska for points and yards. Of course, Illinois’ defense might actually be worse than Nebraska’s, so the Huskers should reciprocate. Will be interesting to see how the QB situation is played. If we want to attack through the air, Ron Kellogg might be the correct starting QB choice for Nebraska. I expect to see both backups like last week, and I expect the offense to still work pretty well in a 42-31 type win.

Ty: What if we’ve all been overreacting (WHAT?  NO!)?  What if we CAN get some… SOME of our woes fixed?  Illinois is a great start to the conference season, because kinks can still be worked out, but we’ll have to bring a good game plan.  Huskers by two touchdowns.

Salt Creek: Nebraska wins this on the back of a 300 yard day out of Imani Cross. In the first quarter. Ryker Fyfe sees the field in the fourth quarter. Illinois scores all of their points in the first half but the defense warms up and shuts out the Illini in the second half, much to chagrin of some.

Husker Mike:  Ryker Fyfe?  Mkay, Mr. Iowa-best-B1g-team.  I think the Blackshirts play better, but Illinois will get their points.  Nebraska gets more.  Huskers 48, Illini 28

Aaron: Game of the week here. It’s suppose to be a windy day in Lincoln on Saturday. That may neutralize the passing game a bit. The Huskers have been averaging 110 more yards on the ground than Illinois. As for the defense, I have no in them until they can man up and show me they deserve a black shirt. If Bo is going to continue his streak of 4-loss seasons, the Illini are a good team to crap the bed against. Put up or shut up Huskers. Nebraska 48, Illinois 42

Mister Mike: While some are still notching this as an automatic win, it’s anything but.  Illinois and Scheelhaase are playing extremely confidently in Cubit’s offense.  They have the athletes to make us pay dearly.  Given what I’ve seen from this defense, I’m with Aaron in that I have no faith in our defense to make stops when it counts and prevent the big plays, especially in the run game.  These guys aren’t UCLA, but they aren’t Wyoming, USM, and SDSU either.  I don’t expect our defense to really show up at all, which is going to lead to very uncomfortable questions for Pelini and the staff after the game.  Honestly, I was going to call for an upset, but frankly, I’m not sure what’s going to happen.  I would not be surprised if Illinois comes in here and grabs a win, but I’m not calling for it.  Huskers 45, Illinois 42.  Still too many issues on defense.

Brian: There’s a fear in this game. What if, after the whole 2-3 weeks of the UCLA debacle, the Wyoming scare, the 1st quarter versus SDSU, the bye week, the talk of stopping talking and playing by everyone…. what if Nebraska goes down by more than a score in this game? What happens then? If it happens early, do you start wondering what’s going on again? If it’s in the second half, do you start freaking out?

The mindset around this team, this D, this whole program is pretty fragile right now. Folks are obviously hoping for the best, but just as many seem to be bracing for the worst, and when it will arrive, not if. And, lets face it, if that feeling comes at all against Illinois this week, how in the everloving hell are we going to make it into November?

Nebraska wins this week. Why? Because, for all the scoring that Illinois can do, their D is just as much a monstrosity as anything you can imagine. Nebraska has the home field, and the bye week, and that’s almost as good of a reason as you need. But if it gets bad… hold on everyone.

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