Week 9 college football preview

Iowa Hawkeyes (4-3) at Northwestern Wildcats (6-2)

When, where:11:00 a.m. Saturday at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill.


Radio: WGN-720 AM

Web: WatchESPN.com

NorthwesternIowaWhat you need to know: Northwestern is coming off its second loss of the season. The Wildcats collapsed late in last week’s 29-28 loss to Nebraska and allowed 19 points in the game’s final 15 minutes. The Wildcats’ defense has struggled late in games most of the season. Northwestern has allowed 51 points during the fourth quarter. Iowa has also struggled at times this season and is coming off a 38-14 loss to Penn State. Northwestern has won five of its last seven games against Iowa, and four of those wins were decided by seven points or fewer. Northwestern has to win this game to give itself any shot at contending for the division. You can expect another close one.

Scott Powers' prediction: Northwestern 24, Iowa 21

Indiana Hoosiers (2-5) at Illinois Fighting Illini (2-5):

When, where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: WIND-560 AM

Web: BTN2Go.com

IllinoisIndianaWhat you need to know: Illinois hopes to emerge a different-looking team after having left week off. The Illini are riding a four-game losing streak in which they’ve been outscored 163-25. Indiana hasn’t been much better. The Hoosiers are on a five-game losing streak, but have been within four points of Michigan State, Ohio State and Navy in their last three games. Illinois has faced the 23rd-toughest schedule in the country this season. One area where the Illini have excelled is in defensive three-and-outs with a 4.71 average per game, which ranks 12th nationally. Indiana’s offense has averaged 34.7 points a game.

Powers' prediction: Illinois 30, Indiana 27

Northern Illinois Huskies (7-1) at Western Michigan Broncos (3-5):

When, where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich.

TV: ESPN Regional

Radio: WSCR-670 AM

Web: WatchESPN.com

Western MichiganNorthern IllinoisWhat you need to know: Northern Illinois and Toledo have separated themselves from the pack in the MAC West. Both are 7-1 overall and 4-0 in conference. Northern Illinois has won seven consecutive games after losing the season opener to Iowa and is carrying a 12-game MAC winning streak. Defensively, the Huskies have allowed one touchdown and 10 points over the last nine quarters and rank fifth in the country in red zone defense and lead the MAC in pass efficiency defense. Western Michigan has lost three of its last four games.

Powers' prediction: Northern Illinois 38, Western Michigan 27