OK Big Ten fans…it gets serious from here on out…I am putting my 48-7 record on the line as there are only four games this week. Legitimately though, three of these games could go either way…and the fourth…???? Is there any way Purdue beats Nebraska In Ross Ade on Saturday?…I guess, but it doesn’t seem too realistic…or does it? Read on loyal reader or casual stopper-by….er.
Indiana (3-2, 1-0) @ Michigan State (4-1, 1-0) Noon ESPN2: The Spartans lead the all-time series with the Hoosiers 43-14-2. The Hoosiers have only won five times in east Lansing (5-23-1) and haven’t won there since 2001 losing the last four meetings at Spartan Stadium. Indiana went 3-0-1 in the first four meetings of the series and won three straight games in 1967-1969 but other than those two instances, have never strung together two or more consecutive W’s in the series…stunning. A gigantic tilt in East Lansing this weekend…it is a classic best offense vs best defense matchup. MSU enters giving up the fewest points and yards in the conference while IU lights up the Midwest skies by ranking second in the conference in points and leads the Big Ten in yards gained. If the Spartans can avoid the Hoosiers Rush or the point in the game where they score in bunches, they could be ok. That is what lost it for Penn State vs Indiana last week. I am just not so sure they can though. MSU only beat Indiana last year by four points…I think this is the week that IU coach Kevin Wilson gets his signature W…he beats a legit Big Ten team on the road as the Hoosiers ruin homecoming in East Lansing..IU wins 35-25.
Nebraska (4-1, 1-0) @ Purdue (1-4, 0-1) Noon Big Ten Network: Purdue has won the only previous meeting. They beat Nebraska in West Lafayette 28-0 back in 1958. Here is really all you need to know about this one…The Boilermakers are dead last in the Big Ten in scoring offense AND scoring defense…and they really have those positions solidified too…they are n’t just barely last…they are VERY last. It is really known at press time whether or not Corn QB Taylor Martinez will be back this week. It really doesn’t matter a whole lot if Ameer Abdullah keeps gaining over 200 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, the Purdue offense has rushed for only three TD’s so far in 2013….they only passed for six TD’s…so if Purdue can hold the Huskers from scoring and if they score they have a chance to win….I think the chances of that particular scenario playing out has about the same chances as the government shutting down…oh wait…zero chance Purdue wins this game. Nebraska wins 38-14.
# 19 Northwestern (4-1, 1-0) @ Wisconsin (3-2, 1-1) 3:30pm ABC: Wisconsin leads the all-time series vs Northwestern 55-32-4. The Badgers have won the last three in Madison, but the Cats have won four of the last seven meeting. The last time Northwestern won in Camp Randall was in 2000. I have a pretty strong feeling about this one…I am going to see if I can ‘logic’ my way out of this one though. Northwestern is coming off a tough loss in arguably their biggest home game in years and Wisconsin had a bye. The Badgers are rested, they all just sat on their couches and they game-planned. We will see how good of a coach Pat Fitzgerald is this week when he has to rebuild his team’s emotion and persona for a big game this week. Historically, the Cats have been blown out in Madison..last year they lost 70-23..the meeting prior to that in Camp Randall they lost 41-9. SO they have not fared well recently in Cheesetopia. I think Pat Fitzgerald rallies the troops and they play well…but in the end, they can’t get the Badgers offense off the field and lose a heartbreaker. Wisconsin wins a classic 27-23.
#18 Michigan (5-0, 1-0) @ Penn State (3-2, 0-1) 5:00pm ESPN: Michigan leads the all-time series vs Penn State 10-6. The Nittany Lions have won the last three meetings. Hoke has never faced Penn State as a head coach. If Penn State wasn’t going with a true freshman in this one, I would take the Nittany Lions. But they are…and facing a Greg Mattison defense which prides itself on disguising it’s coverages and blitzes…will not be an easy task for the young Christian Hackenberg. He will do well…probably throw for close to 300 yards if not more…but he will throw a couple costly turnovers and cost Penn State the game. I think Devin Gardner will also turn the ball over…and the running game will struggle. Gardner will have to win it..and I think he grows up on this road trip….Michigan wins in come from behind fashion 29-28. Read the full game preview here: Michigan at Penn State
Wisconsin’s Joel Stave proving his worth
Big Ten Football week 6 rewind
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