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NCAA Football '14 Simulation: Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

We used the popular EA Sports video game to simulate the results of Saturday's Illini game. Will the Illini bounce back after a rough week 3?

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.


Week 3: Illinois Fighting Illini (2-1) @ Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (2-1)

After a gut-wrenching loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels last week, the Illini looked to rebound against the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State.  Coming into this game, the Raiders are averaging 51 points a game with an average of 525 yards of offense per game.  With a gameplan that favors the run, will Illinois be able to control Middle Tennessee's ground game?  Let's find's how both teams are rated:

Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Overall: 79
  • Offense: 83
  • Defense: 78
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
  • Overall: 79
  • Offense: 79
  • Defense: 78


Both the Illini and the Blue Raiders caught the turnover bug early, as both Wes Lunt and Brent Stockstill threw an interception a piece to open the game.  Illinois was able to recover though, and with the help of Josh Ferguson running for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns, Illinois was able to control the game in the first half.  Malik Turner was clutch for the Illini passing game, as he hauled in 7 passes for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the receiving corps.

After halftime, MTSU rattled off 15 straight points courtesy of running back Shane Tucker and cut the Illinois lead to just 10 points.  But Lunt and the Illinois offense was able to convert late in the 4th to put the game away.  It should be noted that the Illini only had 4 penalties for 27 yards and converted 66% of their red-zone opportunities (the highest rate we've seen this season so far).

Final Score: Illinois 42, Middle Tennessee 25

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