Big Ten Power Rankings: Hoosiers close to last after Week 9

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Illinois Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown (2). Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports /

Last game: 26-9 win vs. Nebraska
Next game: Nov. 5 vs. Michigan State

Chase Brown is the one. Illinois took down Nebraska on the road thanks to Brown, yet again, carrying the load offensively with 32 carries for 149 yards and two total touchdowns. The offense performed just fine in this game, but the story for the Illini is this impressive defensive unit. Forcing four turnovers and managing six tackles for loss, this defense dominated from the jump to help secure this victory.

Now the Illini, who continue to rise in the rankings, look to take on a Michigan State team that has a lot of things going on on and off the football field. Illinois has won two straight games against the Spartans since 2016 and is looking to win their third straight for the first time since winning six straight from 1980 to 1985. The last time the Fighting Illini were ranked when facing an unranked Michigan State team goes back to 1988 when No. 13 Illinois won 14-10.

It won’t be that close in this game, as I expect the Illini to blow the Spartans out of the water by at least three touchdowns.