Toledo vs. Northern Illinois prediction and game preview. The Rockets and Huskies play in a unique venue for Wednesday night’s MAC battle.
Toledo vs. Northern Illinois Game Preview
When: Wednesday, Nov. 9 – 8 p.m. ET
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago.
TV Broadcast: ESPN2
College football will be played on the South Side of Chicago for the first time since the White Sox’s stadium was built 25 years ago. Toledo and Northern Illinois will take part in a unique event, playing in a venue built strictly for baseball. And the crowd could be in for a heck of a quarterback matchup.
Toledo’s Logan Woodside is tied for the national lead with 34 touchdown passes and is fourth with a 70.9 completion percentage while guiding the Rockets to a 7-2 record. Anthony Maddie has helped NIU win back-to-back games and is 3-2 since taking over as starting quarterback. He’s been dangerous both through the air and on the ground, tossing eight touchdowns while running for seven more .
What To Know About Toledo
Toledo’s surprising loss to Ohio on Oct. 27 ruined the chances of it facing Western Michigan in the regular-season finale with both teams unbeaten in conference play, but if it takes care of business prior to that meeting, it would still have a shot at winning the MAC West and playing in the conference title game. Woodside threw three touchdown passes and Kareem Hunt rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 48-17 win over Akron.
Woodside has thrown at least three touchdowns in each of Toledo’s nine games and is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the nation. His success has helped take some pressure off of Toledo’s defense, which is one of only four in the MAC allowing at least six yards per play.
What To Know About Northern Illinois
Maddie has helped turnaround NIU’s season. The Huskies, who appeared in last year’s MAC title game, lost their first four games, the last of which Maddie entered and nearly led a comeback. He’s posted a 127.59 passer rating that’s good for fourth in the MAC while also running for at least 93 yards four times. Maddie had a TD run in last week’s 45-20 win over Bowling Green, but Joel Bouagnon stole the show.
Bouagnon rushed for 134 yards and five touchdowns in the victory, posting his second 100-yard game and rushing for four more touchdowns than he had all season. Bouagnon and Maddie might have a tougher time running the ball in this one, though, as Toledo has held four opponents to fewer than 100 yards on the ground.
Offense: Toledo – The Rockets lead the MAC and rank sixth in the nation averaging 7.29 yards per play.
Defense: Toledo – NIU ranks 10th in the MAC in yards allowed per game.
Special Teams: Northern Illinois – Aregeros Turner leads the conference in average yards per kick return and has brought one back for a touchdown.
Coaching: Toledo – Jason Candle has done a great job in his first season in charge.
Intangibles: Northern Illinois – The Huskies have won the last six meetings.
Matchup To Watch
Woodside vs. NIU’s secondary
Northern Illinois defensive backs Trequan Smith, Mycial Allen and Mayomi Olootu, Jr. have all picked off two passes and will be following Woodside’s eyes all night. Woodside has thrown only five interceptions all season, though, and has been one of the most accurate QBs in the nation.
Spread: Toledo -6.5
Over/Under: No line as of post
Toledo vs. Northern Illinois Prediction
Woodside throws a few home-run balls for touchdowns, the Toledo defense holds Maddie in check and the Rockets come away with a victory in the Chicago White Sox’s home ballpark.
Toledo vs. Northern Illinois final score prediction: Toledo 41, Northern Illinois 28