Weekly staff picks: vs. Iowa, Nov. 17, 2018

Weekly staff picks: vs. Iowa, Nov. 17, 2018

The News-Gazette sports staff will take a crack at predicting the winner of the Illinois game each week. Don't agree with them? Let them know by email at sports@news-gazette.com:

Bob Asmussen | Football beat writer

When good offense goes against good defense, who usually wins? The weather. Snow, rain and cold means a lot of wayward passes and plenty of dropped balls. Might be oodles of turnovers, too. Iowa's defense plays just a little bit better and a late Nate Stanley to Noah Fant TD pass gives the Hawkeyes the win.

IOWA 14, ILLINOIS 10

Scott Richey | Football beat writer

Something has to give between Illinois' No. 8 rushing offense and Iowa's No. 6 rushing defense. But what will really determine today's game is the Illini defense. The Hawkeyes don't exactly boast an explosive offense, but something tells me Nate Stanley is going to find some wide-open tight ends to throw to today.

IOWA 30, ILLINOIS 21

Matt Daniels | Sports editor

Needing to win its final two games in order to reach a bowl game, the Illini must first defeat the Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium. That hasn't happened since Matt Eller drilled a 46-yard field goal late to preserve a 27-24 win on Nov. 1, 2008. Kirk Ferentz's program continues its recent run of success in Champaign.

IOWA 35, ILLINOIS 20

Colin Likas | Prep sports coordinator

Iowa likes to keep things close with a majority of its opponents — at least in 2018. The Hawkeyes' losses to Penn State, Purdue and Northwestern have come by a combined 12 points. Illinois doesn't have that same penchant, and these narrow defeats are going to have Iowa motivated on the road.

IOWA 38, ILLINOIS 14

Joe Vozzelli | Sports copy editor

Do you remember what happened the last time Illinois was a double-digit underdog at home? Two weeks ago Illinois routed Minnesota 55-31. The Illini are a 14-point underdog today against Iowa, but don't expect the same result. The Hawkeyes snap their three-game losing streak and end Illinois' bowl hopes.

IOWA 34, ILLINOIS 26

Jordan J. Wilson | Sports copy editor

Which Illinois defense comes to play on Saturday will largely decide who wins this game. My money is on Iowa, as the Illini's losses this year have nearly all been blowouts. But should a fiercer, more refined version show up for the final game at Memorial Stadium, there's always a chance the bowl dreams live on to next week.

IOWA 45, ILLINOIS 24

Mike Colgan | Sports staffer

The strength for the Illini is running the ball. For Iowa, it's stopping the run. But seniors Nick Allegretti and Del'Shawn Phillips, along with their seven classmates, will rise up to take down Herky in a close one at Memorial Stadium that keeps the Illini's bowl hopes alive going into next week's game at Northwestern.

ILLINOIS 28, IOWA 24

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