Week 7 at Illinois
After five straight games at home, 6-0 Wisconsin heads to Champaign to take on one of the conference’s bottom feeders in Illinois. The Badgers are riding a nine-game winning streak against the Illini, who look as though they are most likely destined for yet another down year.
I would be shocked if they didn’t make it ten straight this season.
Lovie Smith actually could have a nice foundation on offense in 2019 with Michigan transfer quarterback Brandon Peters, running backs Reggie Corbin and Mike Epstein (combined for nearly 1,500 rushing yards) and receiver Ricky Smalling. However, it’s Illinois’ woeful defense that will most likely stand in the way of upsetting Wisconsin: the Illini were one of the worst overall defensive units in the entire country a year ago and allowed almost 40 points per game.
I would anticipate the Badgers having one of their top overall offensive outputs of the season here, and the Illini just are not going to be able to keep up. Wisconsin moves to 7-0 on the year.
Wisconsin 33 – Illinois 17
Wisconsin will be on the road for the first time since August when they travel to Illinois. The Fighting Illini have consistently been at the bottom of the Big Ten West, and I don’t think there will be much of a change this year. The other six teams in the division are all trending upwards and Illinois has been Illinois.
Illinois finished 128th out of 130 teams in the NCAA in total defense, allowing over 500 total yards per game, ahead of just Oregon St. and Connecticut. They also allowed 39.4 points per game last season, good for 124th in the country.
Wisconsin should be careful here though. Last season, Minnesota lost to this team 55-31. They are not a good team, but this is a classic trap game. In the end, Wisconsin rolls over the Illini without too much trouble.
Wisconsin 56 – Illinois 17