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Could This Be Jake Stoneburner’s Breakout Performance?
Zach Clark (11:13 am) @Zach_TSB

Saturday:

Iowa 17 Northwestern 28

My Prediction: Iowa 14 – Northwestern 24
Most Shocking Statistic: Turnovers: Iowa 0 – Northwestern 2
My Northwestern MVP: QB Kain Colter (6/9-80 yards-1 touchdown-1 interception, 26 rushes-166 yards-3 touchdowns)

Fortunately for the Wildcats, the Hawkeyes provided a great opportunity for the Kitty Kats of Evanston to get back on their feet.  As expected, Northwestern won by a double-digit deficit.  Iowa’s key man Mark Weisman struggled, rushing 9 times for 21 yards and catching 2 passes for 20 yards.  Shockingly, despite achieving more 1st downs, gaining over twice as many passing yards, and turning the ball over 2 less times, the Hawkeyes were dominated from start to finish.  I had the rare opportunity to speak with a native Iowan and Hawkeye student this past weekend after the game.  After I politely suggested that it may be time for the Hawkeyes to move on from the Kirk Ferentz era, she looked at me like it was the most outrageous thing she had ever heard.  As long as Iowa fans keep up that attitude regarding Mr. Ferentz, the Hawkeye program will be committed to B1G mediocrity…

Indiana 31 Illinois 17

My Prediction: Indiana 38 – Illinois 14
Most Shocking Statistic: Total Yards: Indiana 292 – Illinois 372
My Indiana MVP: RB Stephen Houston (21 rushes-71 yards-2 touchdowns, 2 catches-16 yards-1 touchdown)

I started off hot on Saturday, coming close to predicting the winner and correct score of the first two games of the day.  Despite outgaining the Hoosiers by 80 yards, the Illini were wrecked by 2 touchdowns.  Shockingly, the Illini cannot blame the loss on the turnover ratio, as they only turned the ball over once more than Indiana.  Additionally, Illinois was vastly more successful on 3rd down, converting 7/17 compared to Indiana’s 1/13.  Fans in Champaign desperately want this season to come to an end.  In fact, some have already begun to call for Tim Beckman’s head.  He’ll be given a couple more years at least, but he’ll have to drastically improve this squad if he wants to stick around for much longer.  As I’m reminded by some Illini faithful, the Illini are still bowl-eligible!  All it would take is victories over our Buckeyes (in the ‘Shoe…), Minnesota, Purdue, and Northwestern.  Yeah, right…
Purdue 28 – Minnesota 44

My Prediction: Purdue 21 – Minnesota 24
Most Shocking Statistic: Yards/Pass: Purdue 4.6 – Minnesota 11.2
My Minnesota MVP: QB Philip Nelson (15/22-246 yards-3 touchdowns, 9 rushes-37 yards)

As I informed all of you last Tuesdaytrue freshman 3-star recruit Philip Nelson was thrust into the starting quarterback role for the Gophers.  After a mediocre 2-turnover performance in his first action as a college athlete, Nelson came out ready to go in a big B1G matchup with Purdue.  Within only 9 minutes of the game beginning, Nelson hit WR Derrick Engel for a 34-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.  That score provided the Gophers with the jump-start they needed, as they scored 44 consecutive points to give them a commanding 44-7 lead mid-way through the 3rd quarter.  I’m sure none of you can sense my amazement concerning Nelson’s performance… But make sure you keep an eye on this youngster in the coming weeks, and more importantly the coming years…

Michigan State 16 – Wisconsin 13

My Prediction: Michigan State 17 – Wisconsin 27
Most Shocking Statistic: Wisconsin Rushing: 19 total yards and 0.5 yards/rush
My Michigan State MVP: LB Max Bullough (9 total tackles- 4 solo, 5 assists, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks)

In my first incorrectly picked game of last Saturday, the Spartans defeated the Badgers by a score of 16-13 in an overtime thriller.  One insane statistic worth pointing out- the Spartan D held Wisconsin’s run game (Montee Ball and James White…) to a total of 19 yards.  Hiding in this statistic is Wisconsin QB Danny O’Brien’s 3 rushes for -32 yard. Regardless, it was yet another impressive performance from Michigan State, and Wisconsin’s loss of starting QB Joel Stave (collarbone) will be crushing to the Badgers going forward.  I see Wisconsin struggling mightily against any B1G team it faces as long as Danny O’Brien is at the helm…

#9 Ohio State 35 – Penn State 23

My Prediction: Ohio State 28 – Penn State 24
Most Shocking Statistic: Rushing Yards: Ohio State 234 – Penn State 32
My Ohio State MVP: QB Braxton Miller (7/19-143 yards-1 touchdown-1 interception, 25 rushes-134 yards-2 touchdowns)

Wow, was I pleasantly surprised after that dominant Buckeye victory.  I told you all last Friday that I had a bad, bad feeling about the matchup in Happy Valley.  To me, this is the Buckeyes’ most impressive victory of 2012, and I firmly believe this will provide the necessary momentum to go undefeated.  After a slow first half (like always…), the men in scarlet and grey came alive, scoring 21 points in the 3rd quarter.  They carried this momentum to the finish, securing a satisfying 12-point win in a hostile environment in Happy Valley.  For more on this game, check out TSB’s takes here and here

#20 Michigan 9 – Nebraska 23

My Prediction: Michigan 38 – Nebraska 31
Most Shocking Statistic: Rushing Yards: Ohio State 234 – Penn State 32
My Nebraska MVP: K Brett Maher (3/3 FG-long of 51, 4 punts-169 yards-1 touchback-2 inside the 20-long of 47)

It’s almost embarrassing to put my score prediction from last week in this article; that’s how off I was… To my credit, Denard Robinson (essentially TSUN’s entire team) again aggravated a nerve in his right elbow, keeping him from much of the game.  Regardless, the Huskers won the game solidly, putting up over 325 yards and winning the turnover margin.  They surely capitalized off Denard’s injury, as Michigan freshman backup Russell Bellomy produced an abysmal 3/16, 38 yard, 3 interception performance.  Bellomy’s play gave the Wolverines no chance, and they failed to reach the 100-yard mark in passing yards or rushing yards…

MY PREDICTION RESULTS FOR 2012:

Week 5: 5-1
Week 6: 4-1 
Week 8: 5-1 
Week 9: 4-2
 


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