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NCAA Football '14 Simulation: Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

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We used the popular EA Sports video game to simulate the results of Saturday's Illini game. How did the Illini fare in their first trip back to Iowa City since 2007?

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

With the help of some passionate college football fans in the world of the internet, TCR will be simulating every Illinois football game this season using EA Sports' NCAA Football '14. We've downloaded updated rosters and the team depth charts will be changed on a week-by-week basis to reflect what we'll see on the field. We'll also check the weather forecast to mirror the expected conditions at kickoff.

Last season, our simulations predicted the correct outcome 70% of the time.

This season, our simulation is (5-0).

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Week 6: Illinois Fighting Illini (4-1) @ #22 Iowa Hawkeyes (5-0)

Coming off a CRAZY finish last week, Illinois now shares the lead in the Big Ten West Division with the Northwestern Wildcats and the Iowa Hawkeyes.  For the first time since 2007, the Illini will travel to Iowa City to face the 22nd ranked team in the country. With the winner of this game retaining their Division lead, can the Illini spoil Iowa's homecoming?

First, let's see how both teams are rated:

Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Overall: 79
  • Offense: 83
  • Defense: 78
Iowa Hawkeyes
  • Overall: 83
  • Offense: 83
  • Defense: 83

Simulation:

As we saw in last week's comeback, Geronimo Allison is the go-to receiver for Wes Lunt and the Illini passing offense.  No more was that evident than this week's simulation, where Allison hauled in 14 catches for the game. His 16 yard touchdown catch put the Illini on the board early, but the Hawkeyes would answer with a Jordan Canzeri touchdown reception.  Marshall Koehn and Taylor Zalewski traded field goals at the end of the first quarter, and the game would head into the second tied 10-10.

Canzeri and Allison would continue to lead their respective offense into the second quarter, as Canzeri and the Hawkeyes would move the ball down the field in their first possession of the quarter.  Jordan Canzeri would punch it in from a yard out to give Iowa the lead, but Wes Lunt hit Geronimo Allison for a 50 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at halftime.

In the second half, the Illini would continue to hang around as Ke'Shawn Vaughn would find the endzone from 3 yards out.  However, C.J. Beathard and his ability to throw the ball would control the outcome.  Beathard hit Matt VandeBerg, Jacob Hillyer, and Jordan Canzeri for touchdowns and ultimately put Iowa ahead for good.  Even though the Illini would grab 2 turnovers (1 fumble and 1 interception), they were not able to convert them to points in the second half.

Final Score: Iowa 45, Illinois 24

Here is the scoring summary and team stats for the game: