Week 5 College Football Preview


Indiana (2-1) at Northwestern (4-0) on Saturday:

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

TV:Big Ten Network

Radio: WGN-720 AM

Web: BTN2GO.com

What you need to know: Northwestern didn’t face any great competition during the non-conference season, but the Wildcats did take care of business with four consecutive wins. The Wildcats’ non-conference opponents have a combined 4-10 record. Northwestern’s Big Ten schedule opens up in a similar way with Indiana and Penn State, two of the conference’s worst teams. The Wildcats should be able to reach at least 6-0. The Wildcats’ offense and defense excelled last week against South Dakota. Northwestern would like to continue to have a balanced attack between its running and passing games. Its defense has also showed continued improvement since a rough season-opening performance against Syracuse.

Scott Powers’ prediction: Northwestern 34, Indiana 17

Penn State (2-2) at Illinois (2-2) on Saturday:

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


Radio: WIND-560 AM

Web: ESPN3.com

What you need to know: Illinois is coming off an embarrassing 52-24 loss to Louisiana Tech in Champaign. It was the second time the Illini allowed 40-plus points this season. Illinois’ offense wasn’t any help last week either. The Illini committed six turnovers, including five fumbles. Illinois turned to junior Nathan Scheelhaase and sophomore Reilly O’Toole at quarterback in last week’s loss. Illini coach Tim Beckman said earlier in the week that Scheelhaase was still his starter. Whoever is out there, Illinois needs for its offense to find a better rhythm. Penn State has dealt with its own share of problems this season and arrive into Champaign at .500. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 24-13 win over Temple.

Powers’ prediction: Illinois 24, Penn State 20

Central Michigan (2-1) at Northern Illinois (3-1) on Saturday:

When, where: 2:30 p.m. at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill.

TV: None

Radio: WYLL-1160 AM

Web: ESPN3.com

What you need to know: Northern Illinois begins its MAC title defense after going 3-1 in non-conference play. The Huskies’ three non-conference wins are the most they’ve had in a season since 2003. Central Michigan was the lone MAC team to defeat Northern Illinois last season. Central Michigan won that game 48-41 at home. This season’s game in DeKalb where Northern Illinois carries a 17-game win streak dating back to 2009. Central Michigan and Northern Illinois do have one common opponent this season in Iowa. Central Michigan defeated Iowa, and Northern Illinois lost to the Hawkeyes. Central Michigan’s loss this season was to Michigan State.

Powers’ prediction: Northern Illinois 27, Central Michigan 24