Purdue (4-3) at Illinois (4-3)
When, where: 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Radio: WIND-560 AM
What you need to know: Illinois took care of business last week with a 43-13 win over Indiana. Nathan Scheelhaase threw two touchdown passes, and the defense returned two interceptions for scores. No one would have guessed that Illinois would be 4-3 at this point, and all of its losses would be top-10 teams. This week should be another easy one for the Illini. The Boilermakers could be without starting quarterback Rob Henry, who has a laceration on his throwing hand, and would have to start true freshman Sean Robinson, a Springfield, Ill. native
Scott Powers’ prediction: Illinois 38, Purdue 17
Northwestern (5-2) at Indiana (4-3)
When, where: 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind.
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: WGN-720 AM
What you need to know: Northwestern is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Michigan State. The Wildcats led 17-0 and later 24-14, but the Spartans rallied, used another fake punt to their advantage and pulled out a 35-27 win. Northwestern needs to get back on the winning track. It has dropped its last two Big Ten games and has Penn State, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin left on its schedule. The Hoosiers are beatable. Their running game has struggled, and they’ve allowed more than 30 points a game.
Powers’ prediction: Northwestern 31, Indiana 21
Northern Illinois (6-2) at Western Michigan (3-4)
When, where: 11 a.m. at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich.
TV: WPWR MyNetwork TV (Ch. 50 in Chicago), ESPN GamePlan
Radio: WSCR-670 AM
What you need to know: Northern Illinois has been unstoppable lately. The Huskies extended their winning streak to five games with last week’s 33-7 win over Central Michigan. Chad Spann added 101 rushing yards and three touchdowns to his totals. He now has 854 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. This week’s opponent Western Michigan is better than its record. It hung with Michigan State and Notre Dame for a bit and is coming off a 56-10 win over Akron. The Broncos need to beat Northern Illinois to stay in the MAC race.
Powers’ prediction: Northern Illinois 35, Western Michigan 27
Tulsa (4-3) at Notre Dame (4-4)
When, where: 1:30 p.m. at Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind.
Radio: WLS-AM 890.
Web: und.com, tulsahurricane.com.
What you need to know: The two programs face off for the first time and Tulsa's last game against a BCS opponent didn't go so well. The Golden Hurricane was thumped, 65-28, by Oklahoma State on Sept. 18 but has won three of its last four since then. Tulsa is averaging 38.4 points and nearly 500 yards of total offense per game, with five running backs averaging over 25 yards per game. Quarterback G.J. Kinne has thrown for 1,855 yards and 15 touchdowns with only six interceptions, mostly to Charles Clay, Damaris Johnson and Trae Johnson -- a trio that leads a group of seven receivers to punch out each week with at least 20 yards. Sophomore linebacker Curnelius Arnick paces the Hurricane with 63 total tackles. The Fighting Irish, which were trying to pick up the pieces after an embarrassing loss to Navy, are dedicating Saturday's game to Declan Sullivan, a student manager who was killed Wednesday when his portable tower toppled in high winds as he was filming practice. Notre Dame likely needs a victory to have a shot at becoming bowl eligible. Dayne Crist threw two interceptions against Navy and the Irish defense had no way to stop the Midshipmen's running attack after three weeks of stingy performances against the run. Receiver Michael Floyd is expected to start after sitting out last Saturday with a pulled hamstring, providing some stability to a unit that's been rocked by injury.
Wes Morgan's prediction: Notre Dame 41, Tulsa 28.
Illinois State (4-4) at Western Illinois (5-3)
When, where: 2 p.m. at Hanson Field in Macomb, Ill.
Web: GoRedbirds.com, GoLeathernecks.com
What you need to know: Illinois State and Western Illinois are both looking to rebound from a loss last week. Northern Iowa handed it to Illinois State 42-14. Tyrone Walker did have a career-high 136 yards receiving and two touchdowns in the defeat. As for Western Illinois, it lost 31-28 to Missouri State. Quarterback Matt Barr was 21 for 30 for 402 yards and two touchdowns, and wide receiver Lito Senatus caught seven passes for 180 yards and one touchdown for the Leathernecks. Illinois State defeated Western Illinois 25-7 when these two in-state teams last season.
Powers’ prediction: Western Illinois 37, Illinois State 31
Austin Peay (2-5) at Eastern Illinois (0-8)
When, where: 1:30 p.m. at O’Brien Field in Charleston, Ill.
What you need to know: Eastern Illinois remained winless with last week’s 38-28 loss to Murray State. The Panthers were out-scored 24-7 in the second half. This will be their last home game of the season and possibly their best chance at getting a win. Austin Peay is on a four-game losing streak and fell 56-3 to Jacksonville State last week.
Powers’ prediction: Austin Peay 28, Eastern Illinois 24
Southern Illinois (3-4) at Missouri State (3-4)
When, where: 2 p.m. at Plaster Field in Springfield, Mo.
What you need to know: Southern Illinois travels to Missouri State after its bye week. The Salukis have been on a bit of a rollercoaster this season. The Salukis do have some time to turn their season around. They’ll look to get their running game going this week after struggling with it in their last two games. Missouri State defeated Western Illinois 31-28 last week and ranks among the best offenses in the FCS.
Powers’ prediction: Southern Illinois 41, Missouri State 28