Happy College Football Fans of Rivalry Week! Throughout Thanksgiving week and weekend we will see renewed local rivalries and state battles unfolding in our great country. It all ends on Saturday, November 27 with a packed Week 13 roster that includes the Northwestern Wildcats at the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Let’s take a preview of the Land of Lincoln Hat Trophy (or LOLHAT) game, starting with the basic FYIs.
Kicks off at 2:30 p.m. CT, with the radio broadcast on WGN AM-720, and Big Ten Network managing the broadcast. If you want to make esports betting, or regular sports betting for that matter, now is the time to do it. You’ll find the favored Illini anywhere from -6 to -7, with a silver line falling from -110 to -116. The smartest bet is Illini -6.5, and that price is readily available.
Preview of the Northwest Wildcats (3-8, 1-7)
“Everyone across the country is excited for this week because the last week of the season is Rivalry Week,” Northwestern team captain and No.1 Joe Spivak said after the Cats had been beaten at Wrigley Field by Purdue on Saturday. .
“We are delighted to go there and play our brand of football.”
Evan Hull, the team’s main offensive weapon, said after his team was demolished at Friendly Confines that “we will definitely use it as fuel” for the upcoming game.
Hull, with 16, could be the team’s only real ‘offensive weapon’ and that’s where the problem lies with this team, but then again, they’re not much better on the other side of the ball either. .
Asked whether Purdue recovered from a back kick, despite the Boilermakers spot kicker slipping and falling, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said:
“Looks like our season, not much to say.” This team is definitely tied with 2019 as the worst it has been on, but in a very different way.
This one is about as bad on both sides of the ball while the 2019 squad had good defense but just an excruciating attack. Illinois are a very bad match for NU because their run defense is poor and the Illini beats the ball.
Illini Football (4-7, 3-5) Preview
“They have played really well since their week off. I was impressed with the way they use their staff in all three phases. Fitzgerald said from Illinois.
“It’s always a challenge to be the team on the road on a week’s vacation, so we’ll probably start this week in preparation. “
Illini’s football coach Bret Bielema is expected to come out of solitary confinement, test positive for covid-19, and be back with everyone by Friday.
He should be on the sidelines, at the head of a team that will rely on the leader of the rush Chase Brown (156-893-4), and to a lesser extent Josh McCray, to resume the match.
My Illini football preseason prediction was 5-7, and it looks like that’s exactly how they’ll end up. However, it will be a very strange roundabout path to get there.
ESPN Matchup Predictor gives Illini football a 70.8% chance of winning here, despite the fact that Illinois have only won this game twice since 2010, and that was in 2011 and 2014.
Prediction: Illini Football 24, Northwestern Wildcats 17
Hull also said, in the Cubs media room at Wrigley Field:
“Records go out the window when it comes to rivalry games.” As cliché as it is painful, it often applies, in many cases, but not here. The team with the best record almost always wins this match, with 2019 being the only exception in the 2000s.
And that’s only because Illini’s football coach at the time, Lovie Smith was actually a career NFL man who treated this game like it was Week 17 and he had a team that had already finished its position in the playoffs. Bielema, on the other hand, understands perfectly and will plan accordingly.
Paul M. Banks is the owner / manager of The bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America”, as well as “No I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons from a Lifetime in the Sports Media Industry. ”
He has appeared regularly in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast. Follow it to Twitter and Instagram.