THE LO­CALS

Chicago Sun-Times - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL -

RUT­GERS AT ILLI­NOIS The facts: 11 a. m., BTN, 670- AM. The records: Rut­gers 1- 4, 0- 2 Big Ten; Illi­nois 2- 3, 0- 2 Big Ten. The sto­ry­line: It’s the Some­body Has to Win Bowl. Then again, there’s no need to be cyn­i­cal about it. For the Illini, it’s an op­por­tu­nity to see hard work pay off as they reach for any clear signs of progress. Quar­ter­back Jeff Ge­orge Jr. has to take bet­ter care of the ball af­ter a three- in­ter­cep­tion day at Iowa. Watch out, ev­ery­one, for Rut­gers all- pur­pose threat Ja­narion Grant, who could go the dis­tance at any time. The line: Illini by 2 ½ . Green­berg’s pick: Illi­nois, 24- 17. NORTH­WEST­ERN AT MARY­LAND The facts: 2: 30 p. m., ESPN2, 720- AM. The records: North­west­ern 2- 3, 0- 2 Big Ten; Mary­land 3- 2, 1- 1.

The sto­ry­line: Some­times the best thing a team can do is just get the heck out of Dodge and take on a chal­lenge some­where new. Hello, Col­lege Park. The Ter­rap­ins are three, maybe four, quar­ter­backs deep into their ros­ter be­cause of in­jury. North­west­ern will sell out against the run and beg the Terps to try to pass the ball. Here’s a novel con­cept for the Cats when they have the ball: Maybe block a lit­tle? The line: Wild­cats by 3 ½ . Green­berg’s pick: North­west­ern, 31- 14. NORTH­ERN ILLI­NOIS AT BUF­FALO The facts: 2: 30 p. m., ESPN3, 560- AM. The records: NIU 3- 2, 1- 0 Mid- Amer­i­can; Buf­falo 3- 3, 1- 1. The sto­ry­line: Seems a lit­tle late for NIU to be play­ing its MAC road opener, doesn’t it? Buf­falo has man­aged to beat the Huskies only once in 11 tries, so it’s hard to en­vi­sion an up­set here. Be­sides, NIU’s de­fense is le­git. Yes, folks, a MAC de­fense is le­git. The Huskies are sev­enth na­tion­ally in to­tal de­fense. The line: Huskies by 4 ½ . Green­berg’s pick: NIU, 27- 16.

Illi­nois quar­ter­back Jeff Ge­orge Jr. threw three in­ter­cep­tions at Iowa. | AP

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