College Football: Fighting Illini, Badgers off to 3-0 starts

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa all wrap up the non-conference portion of their 2011 schedules this Saturday (Sept. 24). Both the Fighting Illini and the Badgers are 3-0. The Hawkeyes are 2-1.

The Illini will have their fourth-straight game at home. They welcome the Western Michigan Broncos into Memorial Stadium for a 2:30 p.m. start. The Broncos will bring a 2-1 record into the game. They are fresh off a 44-14 thumping of Central Michigan. Their lone loss this season is to the University of Michigan 34-10 in their season opener.

The Illini survived a close game (17-14) last Saturday, Sept. 17, against the No. 22 Arizona State Sun Devils.

The Badgers will face the Coyotes from the University of South Dakota at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Game time is 2:30 p.m. The Coyotes are 2-1 with their only loss of the season coming in week one on the road against Air Force. They’ve won their two home games — 30-17 over Eastern Washington and 48-10 over Northwestern Oklahoma State.

The Badgers destroyed the NIU Huskies 49-7 at Soldier Field in Chicago last Saturday, Sept. 17. That big win should propel the Badgers up a spot or two in the national rankings. At press time, they are the eighth-ranked college football team in the country.

The Hawkeyes close out their non-conference schedule against Louisiana-Monroe at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes will then have one extra week to get ready for conference play. They will have a bye week before opening up their Big Ten schedule at Penn State Saturday, Oct. 8.

The NIU Huskies are at home this weekend against the Cal Poly Mustangs. Game time is 2:30 p.m. in DeKalb. The Huskies will try to get back in the win column and even their record at 2-2.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Sept. 21-27, 2011, issue

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