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Big 10 Fearless Predictions, Nov. 10, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 8, 2007


Previews and Predictions for the Week 11 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 | Sept. 29 
Oct. 6Oct. 13 | Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 3Nov. 17    

How are the picks so far? SU: 60-16 ... ATS: 30-34-2

Big 10 Week 11 Predictions, Part 1

Big 10 Saturday November 10

Michigan State (5-5) at Purdue (7-3)   12:00 PM ESPN
Why to watch: Coffee's for closers only. Going back to 2004, Michigan State has had eight chances to become bowl eligible when sitting on five wins. The Spartans are 0-8, with two more chances this year. Next week Penn State comes to East Lansing, but they'd like to get it done this week with a win in West Lafayette against a Purdue team that battled well in a loss last week to Penn State. With four straight wins over the Spartans, a victory would keep alive a shot at the program's first ten-win season since 1979. The two teams have exciting offense, with Purdue throwing as well as anyone in the nation, and Michigan State ranking 17th in the nation in rushing. There should be plenty of offense and plenty of fight.
Why Michigan State might win: The Purdue defense has been fine, but it's been pounded on by the teams that can actually run. Penn State ripped off 251 yards last week, Ohio State ran for 181, Michigan ran for 189 yards and four scores, and Minnesota ran for 232 yards. The Boilermaker defensive back seven will give up big gains, and no one is tearing off big runs in the Big Ten like Javon Ringer. He should have a 100 yards without breathing hard.
Why Purdue might win: Michigan State has lost the last four times the week after losing to Michigan. O.K., that's not exactly a fair stat considering the four games have been against Ohio State, but the Spartans will be hard pressed to gear up the intensity again after a rough loss that had as much fight and fire off the field after the game as on it when Chad Henne mounted the comeback. MSU's defense is keyed by its pass rush, but Purdue has been great in pass protection all year long and won't let Curtis Painter get hit too often. On the flip side, MSU will give up sacks, and Purdue has just enough of a pass rush to disrupt Brian Hoyer.
Who to watch: It's the final home game for one of the Big Ten's all-time greats, who's still an unknown outside of die-hard fans, Dorien Bryant. The Boilermaker receiver has 274 career catches for 3,405 yards and 21 touchdowns, 59 carries for 405 yards and six scores, and a 24.75-yard average on kickoff returns with three touchdowns, including one to start off last week's game against Penn State. He'll be certain to be the featured target at least early on.
What will happen: Purdue beats the mediocre teams and loses to the good one. Michigan State is mediocre. The offensive balance will keep the Spartans on their heels all game long, and the MSU passing game won't be able to mount a comeback.
CFN Prediction: Purdue 31 ... Michigan State 23  ... Line: Purdue -4
Must See Rating: (5
Seinfeld: Season 9 - 1 Bee Movie) ... 3

Penn State
(7-3) at Temple (3-6)   12:00 PM ESPNU
Why to watch: The Nittany Lions have won 24 in a row against the Owls, with most extremely one-sided in a longtime battle that used to be good back in the day. Way back in the day. The two teams tied in 1950 to make it 0-31-1 against Penn State since a 14-0 win back in 1941. Overcoming the loss to Ohio State, Penn State got a nice win over Purdue to get in a position to possibly finish third in the Big Ten pecking order and go to, maybe, the Outback or Capital One Bowls, but that'll be decided next week after facing Michigan State. Temple's 3-6 record represents a huge turnaround for the program, and while it might not seem like much, the team has been competitive as it takes a step in the right direction. This might not be a week to make any kind of a statement, but it might not be a brutal blowout like last year's 47-0 debacle.   
Why Penn State might win: The Temple offense isn't going anywhere. The worst rushing attack in the MAC will get shut down as long as Penn State decides to play its first team linebacking corps, while Maurice Evans and the defensive front will eat Owl QB Vaughn Charlton alive. The Owl offensive line has struggled all year against decent pass rushing teams, and Penn State leads the nation with 40 sacks.
Why Temple might win: The Owls can play a little defense. Despite Joe Paterno's worries that his team could lose if it doesn't play well, Temple doesn't have a shot, but it could make things difficult if the Nittany Lions aren't focused, which they won't be. The secondary will give up passes, but it doesn't allow big yards, partly because it hasn't faced too many teams that throw. Penn State isn't going to throw. If Temple can just find a way to hang tough on first downs and force Anthony Morelli to throw, the MAC's best pass defense will take over and could be more effective than Nittany Lion fans might like.
Who to watch: Temple WR Bruce Francis needs to have a huge game. He'll draw the attention of Penn State's Justin King, or will at least require a look from the safeties, after catching eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown last week against Ohio. The team's leading receiver is also the team's most reliable weapon with a touchdown catch in four of the last five games.
What will happen: Penn State will struggle early before waking up to pull away in the second half. A fired up Temple will score first.
CFN Prediction: Penn State 38 ... Temple 10  ... Line: Penn State -24.5
Must See Rating: (5
Seinfeld: Season 9 - 1 Bee Movie) ... 1.5

Minnesota
(1-9) at Iowa (5-5)   12:05 PM Big Ten Network
Why to watch: After an ugly start, Iowa can become bowl eligible and complete a fantastic, hard fought turnaround with a win over Minnesota in the battle for the Floyd of Rosedale trophy. After winning three of the last four games, the banged up Hawkeyes want to avenge last year's ugly 34-24 loss to the Gophers and leave Tim Brewster's club to deal with Wisconsin next week for the last chance at a win since September 8th. Losers of eight straight, and not even coming close to Michigan or Illinois over the last two weeks, a moral victory, like keeping it close late into the fourth quarter, might be enough right now for the reeling Gophers. Iowa had won five in a row in the series before last year's loss, and hasn't lost to Minnesota in Iowa City since 1999.
Why Minnesota might win: For all the problems and all horrors on defense, the offense has been able to crank out yards at times. Iowa, for all the good things that have happened over the last few weeks, still don't have much of an offense, ranking dead last in the Big Ten with 310 yards and 18.2 points per game. Minnesota has the nation's most anemic pass rush, but if it were ever going to get into the backfield, this would be the week against an Iowa O line that's the worst in the league in pass protection. For once, the Gophers might be able to give their secondary some help.
Why Iowa might win: Step right up and take your turn; everyone's getting rich on the Minnesota defense. Just when it seems like the Gophers can't do something else awful, it gives up 448 rushing yards to Illinois and 1,149 rushing yards over the last three weeks. Iowa can finally pick what it wants to do offensively, as even a mediocre gameplan will mean 500 yards of total offense. The biggest plus would be if ...
Who to watch: Jake Christensen has a huge day. The Iowa sophomore, considering his receiving corps has been decimated and his offensive line is getting him killed, has had a much better season than he's gotten credit for with 13 touchdown passes and just three interceptions. While he's been blamed by many for not moving the offense, he came up with a nice 299-yard, one touchdown performance last week against Northwestern, and might be able to win over the fans if he can torch the Gopher secondary. However, if he stinks and is the one quarterback who can't light up Minnesota like a Christmas tree, then the scrutiny will get even harsher.
What will happen: Iowa will have its fun and get bowl eligible by shutting down the Minnesota running game and cranking out its best offensive day of the year.
CFN Prediction: Iowa 38 ... Minnesota 17  ... Line: Iowa -14
Must See Rating: (5
Seinfeld: Season 9 - 1 Bee Movie) ... 1.5

Big 10 Week 11 Predictions, Part 1