Big Ten Fearless Predictions, Nov. 15, Part 2
Wisconsin RB P.J. Hill
Wisconsin RB P.J. Hill
Posted Nov 13, 2008

Previews and Predictions for the Week 12 Big Ten, Part 2

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

Big 10 Fearless Predictions  Aug. 30 | Sept. 6 | Sept. 13 | Sept. 20 
- Sept. 27 | Oct. 4 | Oct. 11 | Oct. 18 | Oct. 25 | Nov. 1 | Nov. 8

How are the picks so far? SU: 54-23... ATS: 37-30

- Big 10 Fearless Predictions, Nov. 15

Saturday, November 15th

Purdue (3-7) at Iowa (6-4), 12 EST Big Ten Network
Why to watch: Alright, Iowa. You’ve piqued everyone’s interest after playing well defensively all season long before coming up with the BCS shaker with the win over Penn State. Now it’s time to keep the train rolling. Winners of three of their last four games, the Hawkeyes need to get another win to feel comfortable about going bowling after they were left at home last year with a 6-6 record. With a trip up to Minnesota next week, they’d like to get the next win as soon as possible to be assured of a 13th game. The painful Purdue season rolls on as things aren’t quite clicking like Joe Tiller has hoped in his final year. His team has lost six of its last seven games, and if the one win over Michigan, complete with the hook-and-lateral to pull off the win, wasn’t the Thank You Very Much, Good Night moment for the Tiller era, it sure seemed that way. Purdue will beat Indiana next week in Tiller’s final game, but winning on the road against the Hawkeyes would likely be even sweeter.
Why Purdue might win: Could Iowa be on letdown alert after last week? The Boilermaker passing offense is just productive enough to keep the good Iowa secondary working, while Kory Sheets is running well and providing a decent balance, even if the team isn’t amassing much in the way of rushing yards. The Iowa lines held up against Penn State, but for the most part the defensive front hasn’t gotten into the backfield on a regular basis while the O line struggles in pass protection.
Why Iowa might win: Shonn Greene. Purdue’s run defense has gotten much, much better over the course of the year, but it’s still hardly a rock. Meanwhile, the points haven’t been flowing against anyone other than Michigan. The offense has scored seven points or fewer in four of the last six games and is struggling to find anything it can consistently count on. That’s not a good thing against an Iowa defense that’s not allowing much of anything on the ground and is doing a great job of forcing offenses off the field.
Who to watch: Iowa RB Shonn Grenne is now starting to get a little All-America-like attention, and soon he could be on the fringe of the Heisman talk. He won’t come within 27 miles of winning it, but by running for 100 yards or more in every game this year, and after his 117-yard, two touchdown showcase against Penn State, he’s at least on the radar. Before returning to the team this year, his best day was against Purdue in 2006 with 11 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown in the 47-17 blowout.
What will happen: Don’t expect fireworks. The Iowa formula will work: run Greene, get decent defense, and don’t allow much on the ground. Iowa will go through the motions and win ugly.
CFN Prediction: Iowa 23 … Purdue 7 ... Line: Iowa -14.5
Must See Rating: (5 Quantum Of Solace – 1 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) … 2.5
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Minnesota (7-3) at Wisconsin (5-5), 3:30 EST ABC
Why to watch: The longest running rivalry in D-I football continues with plenty on the line for each team, including the Paul Bunyan Axe. Wisconsin is trying to secure a bowl bid, needing to get to seven wins to be assured of a spot. With Cal Poly coming up next week, a win this week should be able to get the job done to finish up the lousy, disappointing season with something positive. On the flip side, Minnesota is assured of getting a 13th game, but it has to turn things around in a big hurry after two disastrous losses. After losing to Northwestern on a pick-six in the final moments, the Gophers didn’t even show up against Michigan in a horrendous 29-6 loss that wasn’t as close as the final score might indicate. They were supposed to be on a big run with a winnable two-game homestand, but now they’re trying to get back on the winning track before closing out against Iowa.
Why Minnesota might win: Wisconsin simply isn’t getting anything out of the passing game. There’s TE Garrett Graham, and the occasional catch from David Gilreath, but for the most part, there’s nothing for the Gopher secondary to be concerned about. If the Gophers can force a few early Badger fumbles and make QB Dustin Sherer do something positive on third and long, they should have a shot. However …
Why Wisconsin might win: … the Minnesota defense has been gashed over the last few weeks. Northwestern QB Mike Kafka ran wild two weeks ago, and Michigan actually looked like Michigan on the ground last week. The Badgers destroyed Indiana’s linebackers last week with the running game, tearing off 441 rushing yards and 601 yards of total offense with three players going for over 100 yards. Minnesota doesn’t have the bulk to hold up for a full four quarters after getting beaten on by P.J. Hill, John Clay, and the Badger running game.
Who to watch: Wisconsin WR David Gilreath has been doing a little of everything as a decent wide receiver, a good runner, and an elite return man. He came up with eight carries for 168 yards and two touchdowns last week and will be used to add a bit more flash and dash to the pounding backfield. He only has 22 catches for 329 yards and two touchdowns on the year, while he has 22 carries for 290 yards and two touchdowns. The coaching staff is inventing ways to get the ball in his hands.
What will happen: It’ll be the Indiana game part two. Wisconsin will pound away up the middle, on the outside, and everywhere in between as it runs for
well over 200 yards. Minnesota will play better than it has over the last two weeks, but it won’t matter. The time of possession will be lopsided to UW’s favor.
CFN Prediction: Wisconsin 31 … Minnesota 16 ... Line: Wisconsin -13.5
Must See Rating: (5 Quantum Of Solace – 1 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) … 3
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- Big 10 Fearless Predictions, Nov. 15