CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – No. 6 Wisconsin, which has outscored its first six opponents by a combined 255-29 while posting four shutouts for the first time since 1930, looks to continue to steamroll the opposition when it visits Illinois in Big Ten play on Saturday. The unbeaten Badgers, following a 38-0 victory against Michigan State in Week 7, hope to continue their mastery of the Fighting Illini by notching their 10th consecutive victory in the series.
TV: Noon ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Wisconsin -31.5
"It's special when we're clicking on all cylinders," Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor told reporters. "We have so many different weapons and so many different players touching the ball." Illinois scored 25 unanswered points after falling behind 28-0 before eventually suffering a 42-25 defeat to 16th-ranked Michigan last week. The Fighting Illini have dropped four straight games, including three in a row in conference play, after a 2-0 start and hope that quarterback Brandon Peters clears the concussion protocol after missing last weekend's game. "We have a history with the University of Wisconsin so we know what they're going to bring to the table on both sides of the ball," Illinois coach Lovie Smith told reporters. "It's not going to be a finesse game so we have to put on our big boy pants and we plan on putting them on."
ABOUT WISCONSIN (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten)
Jack Coan completed 18-of-21 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown in the win against Michigan State to extend his winning streak as the starting quarterback to eight games. Taylor rushed for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Spartans to take his season total to an FBS-best 18 total TDs while moving within four yards of becoming the fourth player in college football history to reach 5,000 through their junior season. Wide receiver Jack Dunn will miss Saturday's clash after suffering a head injury on a punt return against Michigan State while linebacker Leo Chenal could miss his second straight game with a concussion.
ABOUT ILLINOIS (2-4, 0-3)
Matt Robinson was 16-of-25 for 192 yards and a touchdown in his first career start while wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe hauled in five receptions for 102 yards and a score in the loss to Michigan. Reggie Corbin was limited to 14 yards against the Wolverines but still overtook legend Red Grange (2,071) for 15th place on the program's all-time rushing yards list with 2,082. Startin quarterback Brandon Peters, who was hurt in the second quarter of the 40-17 loss to Minnesota on Oct. 5, will be a game-time decision this weekend while wide receiver Trevon Sidney (leg) and defensive lineman Isaiah Gay (unspecified) are questionable.
1. Wisconsin has won 13 of the last 14 meetings with Illinois.
2. Illinois tops the country in forced fumbles (11) and fumble recoveries (10).
3. The Badgers lead the nation in scoring defense (4.8 points).
PREDICTION: Wisconsin 48, Illinois 13