Friday, September 28, 2012

Week 5 Notes And Predictions

This Saturday marks the bye week for Michigan. Michigan will be the only Big Ten school on a bye this week as the rest open up the conference game schedule. College Gameday is making their stop this Saturday in East Lansing, where the Buckeyes are going to take on the Spartans at home. Obviously, that makes it the premiere Big Ten matchup of the week. That being said, don't overlook the Wisconsin-Nebraska game, which should be a close game between two teams, one on the way up in Nebraska, and the other one on the way down in Wisconsin. Both teams are currently 3-1 and looking for a signature win in conference play. Here's a taste of each game:

Ohio State at Michigan State--The Buckeyes visit East Lansing where Braxton Miller will have to face the 6-ranked Spartan defense. In turn, that Spartan D will need to contain an Ohio State offense that is averaging 38 points per game. Braxton Miller is a game changer, but Le'Veon Bell is the consistent workhorse who will be running through the A gap on the Buckeyes defense, and taking some pressure off of inconsistent Spartan quarterback Andrew Maxwell. Winner: Ohio State

Wisconsin at Nebraska--Nebraska will try to avenge the blowout that happened in Madison last season. Taylor Martinez and the rest of the offense are doing well, and the defense isn't too shabby either. Wisconsin is a shell of what people thought they'd be, especially with Montee Ball and the 87th ranked rshing offense. Ball was also injured during the second quarter last week, but figures to be back at full strength on Saturday. Yet, with that offensive line it might not matter. Winner: Nebraska

Minnesota at Iowa--Minnesota is a surprising 4-0 on the season and yet still rank in the middle of the rest of the NCAA in all major statistical categories. Iowa will be trying to avenge a loss against Central Michigan from the previous week. James Vandenberg is hardly lighting up the scoreboard for Iowa whereas whichever Minnesota quarterback plays; Shortell or Gray, they shouldn't struggle against the Iowa defense. Winner: Minnesota

Indiana at Northwestern--Another 4-0 Big Ten team in Northwestern hosts the Hoosiers in their first conference game. Indiana has Tre Roberson out for the season, and that isn't helping them at all. Indiana has won one game so far, and that's against UMass. Northwestern comes in doing well in the passing game, so I'm assuming this will be a blowout against Indiana, which we have also come to expect in recent years. Winner: Northwestern

Penn State at Illinois--Both teams in this contest stand at 2-2 on the season, one of which will walk away with a winning record. It's hard to say which one has the upper hand. Penn State players keep walking away, and Illinois is banged up and was recently blown out by Louisiana Tech. If I had to, I'd give this game to the team with the better coach-quarterback combination. Winner: Penn State

Marshall at Purdue--Purdue plays the only non-conference game on Saturday, and I have to believe it won't be much of a contest for the Boilermakers. Yes, Marshall has the top passing offense in the FBS, but their defense is also allowing almost 43 points a game, which is slightly higher than the offense. I figure this is nothing but a tuneup for Purdue this week before they play Michigan next Saturday at home. Winner: Purdue

On a Michigan note--Urban Meyer was told Michigan is ranked last in the Big Ten in forced turnovers, and also last in the FBS in interceptions. He was quoted in saying he hopes Michigan is ranked last in everything---so the trash talk begins. As much as it hurts to semi-root for OSU this weekend, I feel like I need to since they're ineligible, and Michigan State is in the same division as Michigan. It's easy to root against both teams when they play each other, but it sure is difficult to root for either one.

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