For the first time since 2008, the Iowa Hawkeyes will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini as the two meet up for a Big Ten Conference clash at Memorial Stadium.
Iowa is already bowl eligible for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons. However, the Hawkeyes got trampled at Minnesota last weekend, 51-14. This will be their final road game as they will close out the regular season at home against Wisconsin and Nebraska over the next two weeks.
Illinois should be well rested after getting a bye last weekend, although the team has dropped four of its last five games. In their most recent contest, the Fighting Illini were blown out in a 55-14 decision at Ohio State to fall to 0-4 on the road this season. But they are 4-0 at home and can qualify for a bowl by winning two of their final three games.
The Illinois offense will get a boost this week with the return of starting quarterback Wes Lunt, who missed the last three games with a broken fibula. At the time of his injury, Lunt ranked in the top-20 in the nation in completions per game (25.4, 10th), passing yards per game (313.8, 14th), passing touchdowns (13, 17th), passing yards (1,569, 18th), completion percentage (.665, 20th) and passing efficiency (154.8, 20th), and he was tied for fourth in the FBS with 14 passing plays of 30 yards or more.