Week 9 college football preview

Illinois (6-2) at No. 19 Penn State (7-1)

When, where: 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa.


Radio: WIND-560 AM

Web: ESPN3.com

IllinoisPenn StateWhat you need to know: Illinois is in desperate need of a win after consecutive losses to Ohio State and Purdue. Their next three games are against No. 19 Penn State, No. 18 Michigan and No. 15 Wisconsin, so it’s not unrealistic to think the once 6-0 Illini can soon be 6-5. Their offense has struggled in their past two losses, scoring a total of 21 points. Penn State has been pulling out narrow wins this season. The Nittany Lions have won five of their seven games by 10 points or less.

Scott Powers’ prediction: Penn State 24, Illinois 17

Navy (2-5) at Notre Dame (4-3)

When, where: 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.


Radio: WLS-890 AM

Web: UND.com

NavyNotre DameWhat you need to know: Notre Dame is looking to regroup after last week’s disappointing loss to USC. The Irish still feel they have plenty to play for. Their offense is especially focused this week on improving their red zone problems. Navy should be just the opponent to get that fixed against. Navy has dropped its last five games. Notre Dame and Navy are meeting for the 85th consecutive year.

Powers’ prediction: Notre Dame 38, Navy 17

Northwestern (2-5) at Indiana (1-7)

When, where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind.

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: WGN-720 AM

Web: NUSports.com

NorthwesternIndianaWhat you need to know: Northwestern is running out of time to salvage its season. The Wildcats have lost five consecutive games and are now 0-4 in the Big Ten. Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa was banged up in last week’s loss to Penn State, but is expected to play against the Hoosiers. The Wildcats will be without injured defensive lineman Tyler Scott and linebacker Bryce McNaul. Indiana has also lost five in a row and has allowed 40-plus points in its last three games.

Powers’ prediction: Northwestern 41, Indiana 23

Northern Illinois (5-3) at Toledo (5-3)

When, where: 6 p.m. Tuesday at Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio


Radio: WSCR-670 AM

Web: ESPN3.com

Northern IllinoisToledoWhat you need to know: Northern Illinois and Toledo will be put into the national spotlight for a Tuesday night game in Ohio. Northern Illinois has bounced back from its 2-3 start with three consecutive wins. If the Huskies are going to have a shot at the MAC championship, they’ll need this one. Toledo is 4-0 in conference play and has been considered the class of the MAC so far this year.

Powers’ prediction: Toledo 38, Northern Illinois 35

Eastern Illinois (1-7) at Austin Peay (2-6)

When, where: 4 p.m. Saturday at Governors Stadium in Clarksville, Tenn.

TV: None

Radio: None

Web: EIUPanthers.com

NorthwesternIndianaWhat you need to know: Eastern Illinois just can’t catch a break this season. The Panthers dropped their sixth consecutive game with a one-point loss to Tennessee-Martin last week. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Austin Peay should cure the Panthers’ woes. They lost to Tennessee-Martin 61-23 earlier in the season.

Powers’ prediction: Eastern Illinois 34, Austin Peay 24

Western Illinois (2-5) at Youngstown State (4-3)

When, where: Noon Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium in Youngstown, Ohio

TV: None

Radio: None

Web: GoLeathernecks.com

Western IllinoisYoungstown StateWhat you need to know: Western Illinois has struggled on the road heading into Youngstown State. The Leathernecks have lost five consecutive road games dating back to last season. The last time they won at Youngstown State was 2003. Western Illinois will need to cut down on its turnovers to have a chance. The Leathernecks committed five turnovers in last week’s loss to Missouri State.

Powers’ prediction: Youngstown State 34, Western Illinois 23

Illinois State (5-3) at Southern Illinois (2-5)

When, where: 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Saluki Stadium in Carbondale, Ill.

TV: None

Radio: None

Web: SIUSalukis.com, GoRedbirds.com

Illinois StateSouthern IllinoisWhat you need to know: Illinois State and Southern Illinois have been heading in two different directions in the past month. Illinois State has won three straight games after staring out 2-3. Southern Illinois started off strong, but now has dropped four consecutive games. The Salukis’ problem has been scoring points. They haven’t put up more than 24 points since Week 1. Illinois State has been winning behind its defense, which hasn't allowed more than 14 points in the past three games.

Powers’ prediction: Illinois State 27, Southern Illinois 20