COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 10: Chris Borland #44 of the Wisconsin Badgers stops Lamaar Thomas #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Illinois (2-3) at Wisconsin (3-2), Saturday 3:30pm Eastern (ESPN 2/ABC Regional)
Line: Wisconsin -11.5
Last Meeting: 2011 (Wisconsin 28, Illinois 17)
3 Players to Watch:
1) Badgers Backfield (Ball, White and Gordon): The Badgers' triple headed monster has shown signs of hope in this season, despite the struggles on the offensive line. Against an Illinois defense that has looked less then stellar this season, we should expect the three backs to have a good day. Bielema said earlier this week that he's going to spread out the carries more between backs, so expect to see White and Gordon on the field more then usual today.
2) Chris Borland (Wisconsin LB): The Wisconsin defense has looked good overall this year, but has struggled to create turnovers. Chris Borland is the heart and soul of this Wisconsin D, if anyone is going to make a big defense play this season, it's going to be him. Borland could have a big impact in the outcome of this game if it comes down to the wire.
...more after the jump...
3) Illinois Quarterbacks (Scheelhaase and O'Toole): The two quarterbacks have split time this season due to the struggles of veteran Nathan Scheelhaase. Wisconsin has had loads of trouble against the pass against this season, getting torn up by about every QB it's faced. If Illinois is going to win this game, it's going to be on the back of one of these two guys.
This game comes down to execution. On paper, Wisconsin is the far better team and should win. However, we've said that about every game the Badgers have played this year and they find themselves with two losses. If the Badgers defense can't create turnovers and the offense continues to be a stallmate, Illinois could certainly steal this game. However, I think the Badgers backfield is ready to burst out, and the Badgers will remain unbeatened at home.
My Pick: Wisconsin 35, Illinois 17.
Rest of Staff Picks:
Will: Wisconsin 31, Illinois 14
Kevin: Wisconsin 27, Illinois 17
Andy: Wisconsin 37, Illinois 20
Nate: Wisconsin 35, Illinois 24