Big Ten Football Week 5 Preview
Record: 36-10 .782
Michigan has a bye this week…for those who may be interested the over/under for number of INT’s Denard throws during the bye week is 2.5…I am all about the over on that one…
Saturday, September 29th
Indiana (2-1) @ Northwestern (4-0) Noon Big Ten Network: The Wildcats hold a 45-34-1 lead in the series vs the Hoosiers…they also have won three straight, seven of the last eight and Indiana hasn’t won in Evanston since 1993 (0-6)…believe it or not these are two of the top five offense’s in the Big Ten..IU is number two and NW is fifth…and they are also two of the worst defensive teams…the Hoosiers are tenth in total defense and Northwestern is eleventh…at home, I like Northwestern…I think they have too many weapons and the Hoosiers don’t have enough…but just like all of the Wildcat W’s so far this year…it won’t be easy. Don’t be surprised to see IU with an early lead…but Northwestern will rally behind the enormous crowd support they get at all their home games…The Cats win again 45-35
Penn State (2-2) @ Illinois (2-2) Noon ESPN: The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series 15-4…they have won three of the last four meetings, including the last meeting in Champana and are overall 7-3 in Memorial Stadium. PSU won last years’ snore-fest 10-7…these are two teams that aren’t bad at stopping people (Illinois is 5th in total defense, PSU is 9th), but are awful at moving the football PSU is 9th in total offense..Illinois is 11th)…I think Nathan Scheelhaase needs to grab this QB job and not let go of it…the longer he keeps playing the way he is, the more it hurts the Illini…he answers the call against a tougher-than-most-think Lion defense…Illini wins a battle at home 24-20.
Minnesota (4-0) @ Iowa (2-2) Noon ESPN2: Floyd of Rosedale is on the line…the pig currently resides in MarQueineapolis…The Gophers lead the all-time series with Iowa 60-42-2…they have won the last two meetings..both at TCF Bank Field..the Hawkeyes have won eight of the last eleven meetings…the last time Minnesota won at Kinnick was in 1999 (0-5)..that, by the way, was Kirk Ferentz’s first season at Iowa…The Hawks are dead last in scoring offense, tenth in total offense (9th rushing and 8th passing) and they are awful in punting, punt return coverage and kickoff return coverage…and yes Minnesota is right around Iowa in those rankings or better…so why is Iowa almost a TD favorite?…not sure…probably because it’s at Kinnick. I am not about to give this Iowa team a W because they are at home…am I right Mt. Pleasant?…I like the Golden Gophers to continue their magical run..Minnesota makes Iowa’s bye week next week a mess by beating Iowa 31-20.
Marshall (2-2) @ Purdue (2-1) 3:15pm Big Ten Network: The Herd has the nations’ number one passing attack at just over 383 yards per game and they have scored at least 24 points in each game this year…they have lost to West Virginia and Ohio…This is the first meeting between the two schools…well…here is how you test the Boilermaker defense…and by the way..they currently rank second in the Big Ten in total defense…granted Purdue has only played three games…but they are at or near the top of each offensive and defensive category…I think the Boilers will be tested..but I really like their chances on Saturday…Caleb TerBush will have too much fun facing the awful Herd defense…Purdue lights up Marshall 42-28.
Ohio State (4-0) @ Michigan State (3-1) 3:30pm ABC: Ohio State leads the all-time series with MSU 27-12…the Buckeyes have won seven of the last eight meetings, but MSU won in Columbus last year 10-7…The Bucks have also won three straight and six of the last seven games at the Smoke Stack in East Lansing…The Buckeyes are dead last in the Big Ten in Total defense…I repeat…DEAD LAST!…stunning..to me at least. The Bucks are second in the Big Ten in rushing offense, but MSU counters with the best defense against the run….If Andrew Maxwell can somehow get his WR’s to catch his passes this week…put it this way…which ever team can conquer their demons first should win….will the Spartan WR’s catch passes first or will the Buckeyes make tackles?..I think you’ll see limited quantities of both, but I just don’t think Braxton Miller will let his team lose…Bucks go on the road and beat MSU 21-13.
Wisconsin (3-1) @ Nebraska (3-1) 8:00pm ABC: The series is tied at 3-3…Wisconsin has won the last two meetings (both in Madison) but has never (0-2) won in Lincoln….despite their well documented struggles, the Badgers are, defensively, right where they normally are; sixth in total defense, sixth in scoring defense and third against the run…but last vs the pass…The Corn on the other hand is offensive…leading the Big Ten with over 317 yards on the ground per game..Since the Badgers haven’t played, let alone won in Lincoln since 1973, I like the Corn here…and I like them to put the first nail in the “Badgers-are-going-to-win-the-Leaders-division” coffin…I am not sold on Taylor Martinez yet..he still needs to do a lot to win his division, but torching the Badgers secondary would be a great start…I am just not sure he will need to…Corn wins at home to open the 2012 Big Ten schedule…31-24.