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Illinois01701532
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(25) Wisconsin (4-2) at Illinois (3-2)



Saturday, October 19, 8 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: After making their return to the Top-25, No. 25 Wisconsin will face a tough Big Ten Conference road test at Illinois on Saturday night.

Wisconsin began the season ranked in the preseason poll and were able to climb to No. 20 following a fast 2-0 start, but with a couple of difficult road losses to Arizona (32-30) and Ohio State (31-24), it promptly fell from the ranks. The Badgers bounced back in a big way last weekend in their homecoming game by downing Northwestern, 35-6, to move to 2-1 in the Big Ten.

"These kids prepared," Wisconsin head coach Gary Anderson said. "It obviously means a lot to them every single week, but the ability to get in this position and win at home against really good football team, and we all know that Northwestern is a very, very good football team...I'm proud of this team."

Illinois has been one of the Big Ten's biggest surprises during the first half of the season, and at 3-2, it has already surpassed its win total from the disastrous 2012 season (2-10). The Illini entered league play in their latest contest on Oct. 5 at Nebraska and were handed a 39-19 defeat. They have now dropped 15 consecutive Big Ten matchups dating back to the 2011 season.

This marks the 80th meeting between these two programs, with the series knotted up at 36-36-7. The Badgers have had the upper hand of late, beating the Illini in seven of the last eight matchups.

Wisconsin's offense has been outstanding this season, scoring 37.2 ppg, but in a Big Ten filled with high-scoring teams that number is good for just fifth in the league. It is the conference's top offense in terms of yardage (519.5 ypg), however.

Joel Stave runs the offense and has been impressive with 1,297 yards and 11 touchdowns on 61.8 percent completions, but he's been plagued by six interceptions, and as good as the offense has performed, he knows that it is capable of even more.

"There's things to tighten up (with the offense)," Stave said. "There's room for improvement, as there always is. It's never going to be perfect, but that's the goal. We're going to watch (the tape), learn from it and make sure we're continuing to strive for perfection."

Unfortunately for Stave and the Badgers, it appears as though they might be without one of the nation's best receivers in this matchup, as Jared Abbrederis is doubtful after suffering a concussion last week. He has racked up 35 receptions, 646 yards and five touchdowns, and in his absence James White (18 receptions, 160 yards) will likely serve as the top target.

Luckily, Wisconsin has the nation's fifth-ranked rushing attack to lean on, as the squad puts up 298.2 yards per game on the ground. Melvin Gordon is in the midst of a breakout campaign during his sophomore season with 870 yards (third in FBS) and eight touchdowns. White also gets involved with 574 yards and five scores, and Corey Clement makes the most of his limited touches with 353 yards and four touchdowns.

Defensively, few teams in the FBS can compete with the Badgers. They yield just 267.3 ypg, and their scoring defense (13.2 ppg) ranks first in the conference and fifth in the nation.

Chris Borland is the defensive catalyst. His 56 tackles are more than twice as many as any of his teammates, and he has also racked up 3.0 TFL and 2.0 sacks. Sojour Shelton has picked off three passes, while Warren Herring (4.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks) and Vince Biegel (2.0 sacks) help create a pass-rush.

The Illinois offense has nearly been as impressive as Wisconsin's, as it ranks in the upper half of the Big Ten in both scoring (36.0 ppg) and yardage (457.2 ypg), while also converting third downs at a 48 percent clip.

Nathan Scheelhaase has been one of the league's most impressive signal callers, ranking third in both yards (1,297) and touchdowns (12), and his completion percentage (.642) is the best among Big Ten quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts. He has also protected the football for the most part with just four interceptions.

Josh Ferguson is one of the most versatile tailbacks in the nation. Not only does he lead the team in rushing with 310 yards and a touchdown on 49 attempts, but he is Scheelhaase's favorite target in the passing game as well, reeling in 20 balls for 344 yards and three touchdowns. Donovonn Young is also heavily utilized with 269 yards and three scores.

Ryan Lankford acts as a viable deep threat, tallying 236 yards and a touchdown on just 11 receptions.

The Illini have had some issues on the defensive side of the ball, allowing opposing teams to score 27.6 ppg on 449.8 ypg.

Jonathan Brown is one of the Big Ten's top tacklers with 60 stops and 6.5 TFL. The unit has created only five turnovers through five games, with Taylor Barton recording the only interception.

Illinois has defended its home field admirably this season, winning all three of its contests in Champaign, although it has yet to face an opponent as formidable as Wisconsin. The Illini are a much-improved team this season and will make a game of it, but the Badgers are one of the nation's most well- balanced squads, and even if Abbrederis is unable to suit up, they still have enough firepower to capture a tough road victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wisconsin 30, Illinois 21

10/16 10:40:43 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ND 77
DUKE 73
Final
SAN 95
CHA 86
Final
NCSU 57
CLEM 68
Final
MEM 70
ECU 58
Final
PHI 89
DET 69
Final
CLE 99
POR 94
Final
TOR 119
SAC 102
Final
MIN 110
BOS 98
Final
ATL 113
BRK 102
Final
HOU 99
DAL 94
Final
NOP 85
DEN 93
Final
NYK 100
OKC 92
Final
SAN 95
CHA 86
Final
UTA 89
LAC 94
Final
PHO 106
WAS 98
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
MIL
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
CHI
 
Final
VERM 44
GTDNS 47
 
Final
NAVY 64
AMER 54
 
Final
UMBC 56
BING 68
 
Final
JMU 88
DEL 82
 
Final
RICH 86
DUQ 55
Final
UNCW 82
ELON 65
 
Final
USB 72
HART 66
 
Final
WMARY 100
HOF 79
 
Final
COL 54
LAF 59
 
Final
PSU 63
MINN 58
Final
MAINE 58
UNH 63
 
Final
DREX 65
NE 60
 
Final
FORD 63
RIU 64
Final
SFLA 52
SMU 63
Final
MARQ 70
SHU 80
Final
LSU 64
SCAR 58
Final
UCF 62
TEMPL 86
Final
LONG 64
UNCA 74
 
Final
FSU 82
WAKE 76
Final
CCAR 68
WINT 75
 
Final
OU 84
WRST 76
 
Final
ND 77
DUKE 73
7:30pm Wednesday
GHND 0
HC 0
 
Final
CSOU 77
RAD 84
 
Final
OKLA 81
TTU 36
Final
BRAD 57
DRAK 69
 
Final
BUCK 68
LEH 62
 
Final
WICHS 58
LOYC 47
Final
ILLST 67
MIZST 57
 
Final
PEAY 69
MORE 82
 
Final
SDKST 86
NEOM 64
 
Final
ARST 73
ORST 55
Final
HOU 59
RICE 48
Final
SILL 52
NIOWA 59
Final
NCSU 57
CLEM 68
Final
MEM 70
ECU 58
Final
MIAMI 50
GT 70
Final
PURD 83
IND 67
Final
TCU 61
KU 64
Final
BC 72
LOU 81
Final
MISS 79
MSST 73
Final
CREI 77
STJ 74
Final
SJST 52
AFA 66
Final
ARZ 90
OREG 56
Final
WASH 74
STAN 84
2:00pm Today
PROV
DEP
 
6:00pm Tonight
RUTG
MSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
ARMY
BU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RFLSH
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
CHAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
CCST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
COC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMASS
DAY
 
7:00pm Tonight
FUR
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RMU
FD
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHAR
FATL
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNF
KNST
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
MD
 
7:00pm Tonight
Terriers
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
STET
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAGN
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
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STLU
 
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
USCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
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WCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
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WKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNCG
WOFF
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
GSOUT
APP
 
7:30pm Tonight
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EILL
 
7:30pm Tonight
GHND
HC
 
8:00pm Tonight
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UCONN
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
MAST
 
8:00pm Tonight
UWMIL
ILLCH
 
8:00pm Tonight
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JVST
 
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RIDE
 
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SIUE
 
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WEBER
 
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LALAF
 
8:15pm Tonight
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UGST
 
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ARKST
ARKLR
 
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TROY
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9:00pm Tonight
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EKENT
 
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NCOL
IDST
 
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MIZZ
KENT
 
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GONZ
PORT
 
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UTEP
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UMKC
 
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CHIST
 
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USC
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
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HAW
 
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UTAH
 
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MONT
 
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CSFU
LBSU
 
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GAELS
LMU
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
CAL
 
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BYU
USF
 
Final
NJD 2
TOR 1
Final
WAS 4
PIT 0
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
BOS
 
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NYR
MON
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
ARI
 
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FLA
CLB
 
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OTT
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
NAS
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
MIN
 
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BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
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ANA