Zach Clark (9:38 am) @Zach_TSB

Saturday:

Michigan State (3-2) vs. Indiana (2-2)

2011 Records: Michigan State 11-3 and Indiana 1-11
Game Time: 12:00 PM Eastern
Channel: Big Ten Network
Prediction: Michigan State 31 Indiana 14

Although Indiana has proved they can put up respectable numbers on the scoreboard without stud injured QB Tre Roberson, I think this week, against Michigan State, the Hoosier offense runs into a wall.  The Spartans rank 12th in the nation in points against, giving up only 12.8 points/game.  In my opinion, Indiana will be lucky to put up two touchdowns against a stout MSU defense.  Further cementing my prediction and case for the Spartans to cover the 15.5-point spread, Indiana ranks 72nd in the nation in points against, giving up 27.0 points/game.  I assure you this- there is not one (or even several at once) Hoosier defender than can stop the powerful, athletic Le’Veon Bell.  Expect Bell to have another highlight reel game against a poor opponent, making Andrew Maxwell’s job easier. 

#24 Northwestern (5-0) vs. Penn State (3-2)

2011 Records: Northwestern 6-7 and Penn State 9-4
Game Time: 12:00 PM Eastern
Channel: ESPN/ESPN 3D
Prediction: Northwestern 21 Penn State 17

It’s never easy playing in Happy Valley, especially when a ranked team comes to town and the Nittany Lions have something to prove.  Vegas has set the line at 2 points favoring Penn State, but I think the Wildcats can get it done.  My respect for Coach Pat Fitzgerald has never been a secret, and I believe he has the unique ability to ignore the scrutiny his team faces and lead the Wildcats to victory in hostile territory. Additionally to bolster the Wildcats, RB Venric Mark has established himself a lethal threat on the field, amassing over 500 yards on the ground (5.3 yards/carry) and 7 touchdowns (5 rushing/1 receiving/1 returning) through five games.  Hopefully my judgement in picking Northwestern isn’t too far clouded by my hope that the B1G actually has one “very good” bowl-eligible team…
Illinois (2-3) vs. Wisconsin (3-2)

2011 Records: Illinois 7-6 and Wisconsin 11-3
Game Time: 3:30 PM Eastern
Channel: ESPN2/ABC Regional
Prediction: Illinois 10 Wisconsin 31

In my opinion, this game in Madison represents one of the more clear-cut B1G games of week six.  Illinois seems to be spiraling out of control, suffering losses to Louisiana Tech (24-52) and Penn State (7-35) in the past two weeks.  I had thought Coach Tim Beckman would be able to make a bigger impact on this team in just his first year, but it appears he needs much more time.  Also not helping the Illini’s chances is the inconsistent health of junior QB Nate Scheelhaase, one of the respected leaders on the team.  On the other hand, Wisconsin seems to have finally gotten their offense going, scoring 37 and 27 points in the past two weeks.  Despite losing in Lincoln to Nebraska by three points last week, they left at least a touchdown on the board and looked like a much better team than the first few games of 2012.  It seems almost a no brainer to pick the Badgers, at home, to cover the 14-point spread.

Michigan (2-2) vs. Purdue (3-1)

2011 Records: Michigan 11-2 and Purdue 7-6
Game Time: 4:00 PM Eastern
Channel: Big Ten Network
Prediction: Michigan 35 Purdue 31

In a game eerily similar to last week’s Marshall - Purdue showdown, I expect Michigan - Purdue to also be a high-scoring affair.  In fact, my projected total score of 66 points might be far too low.  While Purdue’s offense has the better national ranking in passing yards for, rushing yards for, and points for, the Wolverines have the x-factor in Denard Robinson.  In Purdue’s only game against a respectable offense (Marshall), they gave up 41 points and 534 yards of total offense.  As much as I dislike Denard Robinson and the Wolverines, I expect him to come out angry with his team’s 2-2 record and light up the scoreboard.  Michigan may or may not cover the 3-point spread favoring them, but I firmly believe Denard walks out of West Lafayette with a win.

#21 Nebraska (4-1) vs. #12 Ohio State (5-0)

2011 Records: Nebraska 9-4 and Ohio State 6-7
Game Time: 8:00 PM Eastern
Channel: ABC
Prediction: Nebraska 27 Ohio State 31

With 36 recruits (basketball and football) expected to be in attendance, this night game is monumental for the Buckeyes.  One immeasurable factor that I LOVE in this matchup: the Buckeye’s payback motivation from 2011.  Combining this mentality with Coach Meyer’s aggressive philosophy, I cannot see the Buckeyes losing this game.  Another something often forgotten about, this young offense is learning and getting better with every game.  With every cringe I had after some of Braxton’s brutal passes this season, I have to remember that he is learning something every time.  That being said, the Huskers’ Taylor Martinez has improved some himself.  Martinez is much more deadly now that he can be a legitimate passing threat.  Somehow, someway (very in-depth, great analysis, I know), Ohio State will pull this game out, but may not cover the 3-point spread.
 


Comments

03/05/2013 01:39

Agree with you!

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