Today's contest will be the 64th meeting between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Illinois Fighting Illini in the 105-year series history. Illinois leads the all-time series 37-24-2, and the advantage in games in Iowa City with an 18-13-2 mark. The two teams have played eight times in the last 10 years with Illinois winning five of those matchups. Illini have won the last two meetings, although the Hawkeyes have been off the Illinois schedule for the past two seasons. In the last meeting, Illinois was the winner of a 31-0 shutout over Iowa in 2000. Illinois' last game in Iowa City was a memorable one with placekicker Neil Rackers scoring 22 points, including a touchdown, leading to a 40-24 win. The Illini lead the Big Ten with the ninth-toughest schedule nationally according to the latest Sagarin ratings.
The Illini will face its fifth of five consecutive Top-25 opponents this season when it visits No. 13/14 Iowa (that number does not include Missouri or Wisconsin, which later entered the Top-25). The Illini are 0-4 vs. ranked foes this season, following a loss to No. 22/23 Purdue on Oct. 4, No. 21/23 Michigan State on Oct. 11, No. 17 Michigan on Oct. 18 and No. 24 Minnesota. Illinois has five wins against ranked opponents during the Turner-era. Five of Illinois' losses this season have come to ranked teams. Missouri, Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan and Minnesota currently have a combined record of 33-8 (.805). Six teams on the Illinois schedule are currently ranked in the Top-25. Eight of Illinois' 11 Division-IA opponents are currently bowl eligible.
Of junior wide receiver Mark Kornfeld's 35 catches this season, 26 have converted first downs (74.3 percent). Sophomore punter Steve Weatherford was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Weatherford had seven punts for an average of 45.0 yards per punt. He booted two over 60 yards, including a career-long 66-yarder. His two punts over 60 yards marked the first time for an Illinois punter since Dike Eddleman in 1948. He also pinned three inside the Minnesota 20-yardline.