The 7th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers (7-2, 4-2) are in position to win the Big Ten Conference's West Division if they can win their final three regular season games, starting with Saturday's visit from Illinois.
Illinois (3-6, 2-4) led the conference in penalties most of the year, a spot it finally vacated last week when it sent Michigan State careening to its seventh straight loss with a 31-27 verdict that kept its slender bowl hopes alive.
Jeff George Jr. appears likely to start again as senior Wes Lunt, the quarterback for the past 2 ? seasons, continues to nurse a back injury that has sidelined him for four straight games.
It's not known if wide receiver Malik Turner, by far Illinois' leading receiver, will be able to play after sitting out the Michigan State game with a concussion. Turner's potential absence will put more pressure on a running game fronted last week by Kendrick Foster's 146-yard, two-touchdown effort.
As for the Badgers, they're coming off a 21-7 win last week at Northwestern in which they outrushed the Wildcats 190-39. Corey Clement rushed 32 times for 106 yards and a touchdown, helping Wisconsin possess the ball for more than 40 minutes.
Saturday's game time is 2:30 pm and can be seen on ESPN2.
>>ISU Wraps Up Season At Home Hosting Missouri State
Coming off back-to-back wins against Top-15 nationally-ranked opponents, Illinois State (5-5, 3-4 MVFC) will look to cap off its season with a win over Missouri State (4-5, 2-4 MVFC) when the Redbirds host the Bears on Senior Day.
A win would secure the seventh winning season in the last eight under the leadership of head coach Brock Spack and keep the Redbirds' NCAA FCS playoff hopes alive heading into the bye week.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Kolbe earned MVFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, after leading the Redbirds to their second-straight win over a Top 15 nationally-ranked opponent last week. The Naperville, Illinois, native threw for 265 yards and set a career-best with four touchdown passes as the Redbirds downed No. 11 Western Illinois on the road. Kolbe has combined to throw for six touchdowns the past two weeks in wins for ISU.
The Bears are 4-5 on the season and have posted a 2-4 record in Missouri Valley Football Conference play so far in 2016. MSU began the season 2-0, but have won just two of its past seven games with victories at Indiana State and two weeks ago at home against Southern Illinois.
Saturday's game time is noon.
>>Eastern Illinois on Bye
The Eastern Illinois Panthers get a week off after dropping their third straight game last week to Tennesee-Martin.
The Panthers fell in their home finale, losing 33-17, their third straight defeat and all but do remain alive for a playoff spot.
Eastern returns to action next week as Eastern Kentucky awaits. That game is in Richmond, KY and is set for a noon start time.