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Big 10 Fearless Predictions, Sept. 29, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 26, 2007


Previews and Predictions for the Week 5 Big 10 Games, Part 2



Big Ten
Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Michigan | Michigan State | Minnesota
Northwestern | Ohio State | Penn State | Purdue | Wisconsin

Big Ten Fearless Predictions Sept. 1Sept. 8 | Sept. 15Sept. 22 
Oct. 6Oct. 13 | Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 3Nov. 10 | Nov. 17    

How are the picks so far? SU: 31-8 ... ATS: 13-17-2

Big 10 Week Five Predictions, Part 1

Big 10 Saturday, Sept. 29


Michigan (2-2) at Northwestern (2-2)  12:00 PM Big Ten Network
Why to Watch: Everyone back on the Michigan bandwagon. After the ugly start to the year, all is right with the Wolverine world again after blasting Notre Dame and gutting its way past Penn State. If the team is as good as it's supposed to be, it should be a bounceback 4-2 with Eastern Michigan coming up after the apparent layup against Northwestern. The Wildcats suffered the indignity of being the team Duke broke its long losing streak against, and then they got their doors blown off in a 58-7 loss to Ohio State that was every bit as lopsided as the score. However, if Michigan plays like the Michigan of a few weeks ago, this might be more interesting than it appears.
Why Michigan Might Win: Northwestern's offense has gone into the tank. It struggled to consistently get going in the loss to Duke, and it didn't do anything against Ohio State, getting its only touchdown on a kickoff return. Michigan's defense appears to be solid again, shutting down Notre Dame (no big whoop there) and stopping Penn State cold. Even with the problems, the D has been able to get into the backfield and hit the quarterback. Northwestern's offensive line has been porous at best.
Why Northwestern Might Win: It's a stretch to call what Northwestern is doing a spread offense like Appalachian State's or Oregon's, but it spreads it out and can get QB C.J. Bacher on the move. Michigan didn't struggle against the spread; it wasn't even remotely close. If the offensive line can somehow play better than it has over the first four games, and if Bacher gets a little time, and can get into a rhythm, the offense should be able to move the ball through the air.
Who to Watch: Who will be under center for Michigan? Chad Henne is supposedly ready to go on his sprained knee, but it'll be a wait-and-see attitude as the week goes on. When ready, he'll be back as the leader of the offense, but no one's really complaining about the idea of freshman Ryan Mallett getting more work. Mallett wasn't bad against Penn State, even with a slew of mistakes and misfires, but he didn't make any major, game-changing errors and played veteran QB Anthony Morelli to an even draw. In a perfect world, Henne gets a half in, Michigan gets up big, and Mallett can come in to see a little time.
What Will Happen: With star RB Tyrell Sutton likely out with an ankle problem, the punchless Northwestern offense will struggle yet again. The Michigan passing game will finally perk up.
CFN Prediction: Michigan 31 ... Northwestern 17
... Line: Michigan -17
Must See Rating: (5 Ken Burns' The War - 1 The Big Bang Theory) ... 2.5

Notre Dame (0-4) at Purdue (4-0)  12:00 PM ESPN
Why to Watch: Up next on the fun is Purdue, who's looking to stop a two game losing streak to the Irish. Everyone's getting fat right now on Notre Dame, but after the loss to Michigan State, this date in West Lafayette might be the best chance to get a win before November. The offense still isn't doing anything, the defense isn't holding up under the weight of carrying the team, and South Bend is in a general state of panic. on the flip side, Purdue has started out the season red hot, scoring 52, 52, 45 and 45 points in its first four games. As bad as Notre Dame has been, this is the first big test for the Boilermakers, and it's a shot at a big confidence boost before facing Ohio State and Michigan.
Why Notre Dame Might Win: Purdue's defense has suffered a few letdowns in the second half, but that's mostly because the offense has gotten off to hot starts. If the Irish can somehow keep this a game going into the locker room, then there's a chance the running game, if there's a commitment to it, might finally get going. Purdue can be run on, but it takes a while to beat it down. The D has yet to be truly pushed.
Why Purdue Might Win: It might just be as simple as the Irish's inability to outscore the Boilermakers. Notre Dame has scored 27 points in the first four games, while Purdue has scored more than that in a half of each of the first four games. The Irish defensive front isn't generating any pressure, and Purdue's offensive line isn't allowing any sacks, so Curtis Painter should be able to have all the time he wants to bomb away. For the first time this year, the ND D will get thrown on.
Who to Watch: Purdue junior QB Curtis Painter has been well out of any Heisman discussion, but he's starting to enter Drew Brees-like territory as far as his numbers and production. Playing Notre Dame, even a bad Notre Dame, gets you noticed, and this needs to be when Painter explodes. His biggest problem was interceptions, throwing 19 past year and eight in his final four games, but he's only given it away once so far while bombing away for 16 touchdown passes. Part of the reason is the protection he's getting from the line, part of the reason is a deep and talented receiving corps, and part of the reason is that he's good.
What Will Happen: Notre Dame will get a few touchdowns to make this fun, with Jimmy Clausen tossing his first touchdown pass, but there won't be nearly enough production to overcome the Purdue attack.
CFN Prediction: Purdue 38 ... Notre Dame 20
... Line: Purdue -21.5
Must See Rating: (5 Ken Burns' The War - 1 The Big Bang Theory) ... 2.5

Ohio State (4-0) at Minnesota (1-3)  8:00 PM ESPN2
Why to Watch: The first four games of the Tim Brewster era at Minnesota haven't exactly been stellar, but with one shocking upset win, that could all change. Ohio State has been more dominant than it's been given credit for on a national scale, beating up three weaklings and Washington with the nation's second best defense and an offense that's suddenly become explosive. The real first test comes next week at Purdue, but for now, just handling the explosive Gophers would be another good step. Minnesota's defense hasn't come remotely close to stopping anyone, ranking dead last in America despite only facing Bowling Green, Miami University, and Florida Atlantic before playing Purdue. With Indiana, Northwestern and North Dakota State up next, the chance is there to go on a big run if the nation's 15th ranked offense can pull this off.
Why Ohio State Might Win: It's this simple. Ohio State's offensive line is giving QB Todd Boeckman 19 days to throw. That time is allowing Brian Robiskie and the other receivers to do whatever they need to do to get open, and the offense is starting to explode because of it. Minnesota's pass defense is the worst in America, partly because there's absolutely no one on the defensive front who can get into the backfield. Any time the Buckeyes want to throw long, they'll be able to.
Why Minnesota Might Win: Minnesota seems to be able to adjust well in the second half. Part of the reason is because it gets down so quickly that it has to open things up a bit, part of the reason is because teams take their foot off the gas, and part of the reason is because this is a way young team that's still trying to figure out what it's doing. The offensive line is playing extremely well, and should be able to allow the skill players time to operate, and the backfield to run the ball. The goal will be pound away as much as possible and get the clock moving. This is a good, balanced offense, and as long as it doesn't start giving the ball away, hardly a given, it should do more damage against the Buckeye D than anyone else has been able to.
Who to Watch: Minnesota is playing around with its running back situation after top tailback Amir Pinnix has been having fumbling issues. The workhorse for the first two games, with 168 yards against Bowling Green and 126 against Miami University, he only got the ball 16 times against Florida Atlantic, and was pulled after running five times for 53 yards against Purdue because he put the ball on the turf. Duane Bennett ran for 81 yards and a score on only seven carries against Purdue, but most of the overall workload has fallen to QB Adam Weber. That has to change.
What Will Happen: Ohio State's offense won't do what it did against Northwestern, but it won't be far off. The defense will clamp down early on the Gophers and give up a few late points.
CFN Prediction: Ohio State 45 ... Minnesota 20
 ... Line: Ohio State -23
Must See Rating: (5 Ken Burns' The War - 1 The Big Bang Theory) ... 2

Big 10 Week Five Predictions, Part 1

 


Big Ten
Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Michigan | Michigan State | Minnesota
Northwestern | Ohio State | Penn State | Purdue | Wisconsin

Big Ten Fearless Predictions Sept. 1Sept. 8 | Sept. 15Sept. 22 
Oct. 6Oct. 13 | Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 3Nov. 10 | Nov. 17    

How are the picks so far? SU: 31-8 ... ATS: 13-17-2

Big 10 Week Four Predictions, Part 2

Big 10 Saturday, Sept. 29


Michigan (2-2) at Northwestern (2-2)  12:00 PM Big Ten Network
Why to Watch: Everyone back on the Michigan bandwagon. After the ugly start to the year, all is right with the Wolverine world again after blasting Notre Dame and gutting its way past Penn State. If the team is as good as it's supposed to be, it should be a bounceback 4-2 with Eastern Michigan coming up after the apparent layup against Northwestern. The Wildcats suffered the indignity of being the team Duke broke its long losing streak against, and then they got their doors blown off in a 58-7 loss to Ohio State that was every bit as lopsided as the score. However, if Michigan plays like the Michigan of a few weeks ago, this might be more interesting than it appears.
Why Michigan Might Win: Northwestern's offense has gone into the tank. It struggled to consistently get going in the loss to Duke, and it didn't do anything against Ohio State, getting its only touchdown on a kickoff return. Michigan's defense appears to be solid again, shutting down Notre Dame (no big whoop there) and stopping Penn State cold. Even with the problems, the D has been able to get into the backfield and hit the quarterback. Northwestern's offensive line has been porous at best.
Why Northwestern Might Win: It's a stretch to call what Northwestern is doing a spread offense like Appalachian State's or Oregon's, but it spreads it out and can get QB C.J. Bacher on the move. Michigan didn't struggle against the spread; it wasn't even remotely close. If the offensive line can somehow play better than it has over the first four games, and if Bacher gets a little time, and can get into a rhythm, the offense should be able to move the ball through the air.
Who to Watch: Who will be under center for Michigan? Chad Henne is supposedly ready to go on his sprained knee, but it'll be a wait-and-see attitude as the week goes on. When ready, he'll be back as the leader of the offense, but no one's really complaining about the idea of freshman Ryan Mallett getting more work. Mallett wasn't bad against Penn State, even with a slew of mistakes and misfires, but he didn't make any major, game-changing errors and played veteran QB Anthony Morelli to an even draw. In a perfect world, Henne gets a half in, Michigan gets up big, and Mallett can come in to see a little time.
What Will Happen: With star RB Tyrell Sutton likely out with an ankle problem, the punchless Northwestern offense will struggle yet again. The Michigan passing game will finally perk up.
CFN Prediction: Michigan 31 ... Northwestern 17
... Line: Michigan -17
Must See Rating: (5 Ken Burns' The War - 1 The Big Bang Theory) ... 2.5

Notre Dame (0-4) at Purdue (4-0)  12:00 PM ESPN
Why to Watch: Up next on the fun is Purdue, who's looking to stop a two game losing streak to the Irish. Everyone's getting fat right now on Notre Dame, but after the loss to Michigan State, this date in West Lafayette might be the best chance to get a win before November. The offense still isn't doing anything, the defense isn't holding up under the weight of carrying the team, and South Bend is in a general state of panic. on the flip side, Purdue has started out the season red hot, scoring 52, 52, 45 and 45 points in its first four games. As bad as Notre Dame has been, this is the first big test for the Boilermakers, and it's a shot at a big confidence boost before facing Ohio State and Michigan.
Why Notre Dame Might Win: Purdue's defense has suffered a few letdowns in the second half, but that's mostly because the offense has gotten off to hot starts. If the Irish can somehow keep this a game going into the locker room, then there's a chance the running game, if there's a commitment to it, might finally get going. Purdue can be run on, but it takes a while to beat it down. The D has yet to be truly pushed.
Why Purdue Might Win: It might just be as simple as the Irish's inability to outscore the Boilermakers. Notre Dame has scored 27 points in the first four games, while Purdue has scored more than that in a half of each of the first four games. The Irish defensive front isn't generating any pressure, and Purdue's offensive line isn't allowing any sacks, so Curtis Painter should be able to have all the time he wants to bomb away. For the first time this year, the ND D will get thrown on.
Who to Watch: Purdue junior QB Curtis Painter has been well out of any Heisman discussion, but he's starting to enter Drew Brees-like territory as far as his numbers and production. Playing Notre Dame, even a bad Notre Dame, gets you noticed, and this needs to be when Painter explodes. His biggest problem was interceptions, throwing 19 past year and eight in his final four games, but he's only given it away once so far while bombing away for 16 touchdown passes. Part of the reason is the protection he's getting from the line, part of the reason is a deep and talented receiving corps, and part of the reason is that he's good.
What Will Happen: Notre Dame will get a few touchdowns to make this fun, with Jimmy Clausen tossing his first touchdown pass, but there won't be nearly enough production to overcome the Purdue attack.
CFN Prediction: Purdue 38 ... Notre Dame 20
... Line: Purdue -21.5
Must See Rating: (5 Ken Burns' The War - 1 The Big Bang Theory) ... 2.5

Ohio State (4-0) at Minnesota (1-3)  8:00 PM ESPN2
Why to Watch: The first four games of the Tim Brewster era at Minnesota haven't exactly been stellar, but with one shocking upset win, that could all change. Ohio State has been more dominant than it's been given credit for on a national scale, beating up three weaklings and Washington with the nation's second best defense and an offense that's suddenly become explosive. The real first test comes next week at Purdue, but for now, just handling the explosive Gophers would be another good step. Minnesota's defense hasn't come remotely close to stopping anyone, ranking dead last in America despite only facing Bowling Green, Miami University, and Florida Atlantic before playing Purdue. With Indiana, Northwestern and North Dakota State up next, the chance is there to go on a big run if the nation's 15th ranked offense can pull this off.
Why Ohio State Might Win: It's this simple. Ohio State's offensive line is giving QB Todd Boeckman 19 days to throw. That time is allowing Brian Robiskie and the other receivers to do whatever they need to do to get open, and the offense is starting to explode because of it. Minnesota's pass defense is the worst in America, partly because there's absolutely no one on the defensive front who can get into the backfield. Any time the Buckeyes want to throw long, they'll be able to.
Why Minnesota Might Win: Minnesota seems to be able to adjust well in the second half. Part of the reason is because it gets down so quickly that it has to open things up a bit, part of the reason is because teams take their foot off the gas, and part of the reason is because this is a way young team that's still trying to figure out what it's doing. The offensive line is playing extremely well, and should be able to allow the skill players time to operate, and the backfield to run the ball. The goal will be pound away as much as possible and get the clock moving. This is a good, balanced offense, and as long as it doesn't start giving the ball away, hardly a given, it should do more damage against the Buckeye D than anyone else has been able to.
Who to Watch: Minnesota is playing around with its running back situation after top tailback Amir Pinnix has been having fumbling issues. The workhorse for the first two games, with 168 yards against Bowling Green and 126 against Miami University, he only got the ball 16 times against Florida Atlantic, and was pulled after running five times for 53 yards against Purdue because he put the ball on the turf. Duane Bennett ran for 81 yards and a score on only seven carries against Purdue, but most of the overall workload has fallen to QB Adam Weber. That has to change.
What Will Happen: Ohio State's offense won't do what it did against Northwestern, but it won't be far off. The defense will clamp down early on the Gophers and give up a few late points.
CFN Prediction: Ohio State 45 ... Minnesota 20
 ... Line: Ohio State -23
Must See Rating: (5 Ken Burns' The War - 1 The Big Bang Theory) ... 2

Big 10 Week Four Predictions, Part 2