Big Ten football predictions: Week 6

I’m back for another week. I should be good for next week as well. The week after will be tricky since I’ll be at the Children’s Hospital for almost a whole week. But my fiancé did tell me to bring my computer to kill time while our child goes through a 5-7 hour surgery. I got another Saturday off, so that’ll be fun. But since the Badgers play Kent State, I agreed that if the weather is nice, I’ll go to a pumpkin patch for a few hours Saturday morning. Fingers crossed it rains all day.

Either way, I’ll be home at some point, watching college football. With no problem actually thanks to Hulu Live. Yes, I’m giving Hulu some publicity. Let’s see if it pays off and Deceptive Speed gets its first sponsor.

There were a lot of blowouts last week. I didn’t see the 59-point performance by Penn State coming. Ohio State quieted Lincoln early and it stayed that way. Iowa had no trouble with MTSU and Michigan is still capable of throttling Rutgers. Wisconsin and Northwestern played your typical ugly game. And Indiana and Purdue both had chances to win that they blew.

I was 6-1 last week thanks to Purdue not being able to hand Minnesota it’s first loss on the season. 24-4 is a good record going into week 6.

Saturday, October 5

Kent State at #8 Wisconsin

TV Schedule: ESPNU, 11 a.m. CT

Stadium: Camp Randall, Madison, WI

This is the fourth of five straight home games for Wisconsin. The Badgers went on the road at the end of August and will not leave Madison until October 19. I’m not worried one bit about Jack Coan at quarterback. Uneducated folks on Twitter and Facebook wanted him pulled at halftime. Wisconsin would’ve lost the game. Its your typical Northwestern-Wisconsin game. It’s like playing Iowa. It’s going to be ugly, but a win is a win. The Golden Flashes are going to run the ball a lot, but their two quarterback system isn’t terrible. They beat Bowling Green and an FCS. But gave up 30 or more to Arizona State and Auburn. I may be switching back and forth by the third quarter.

Prediction: Wisconsin 45, Kent State 13


Purdue at #12 Penn State

TV Schedule: ESPN, 11 a.m. CT

Stadium: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

Purdue let me down last week, so there’s no way they’re going to win on the road. The Nittany Lions put up a ton of points last week. Sean Clifford threw 3 touchdowns. Ricky Slade continued to struggle, but it didn’t matter with a 38-0 lead at halftime. The backup quarterback only had to throw 8 passes while running 2 in for touchdowns. The defense came up with 4 sacks and 2 picks. Purdue lost its star receiver Rondale Moore to a hyperextended knee and he’ll be out for the foreseeable future. He only caught 2 passes last week. The Boilermakers rolled with Jack Plummer most of the game and he did throw 2 TD’s without Moore. He’ll more than likely start this week, but Penn State has a little better defense than Minnesota.

Prediction: Penn State 34, Purdue 14


#14 Iowa at #19 Michigan

TV Schedule: FOX, 11 a.m. CT

Stadium: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI

All part of Big Noon Saturday on Fox. This will be the game I’m watching during the second half of the Badger game. If I’m home. Who thought Iowa was going to be ranked higher than Michigan for this matchup at the beginning of the season? I did. I don’t have it documented, but I knew Iowa was going to be pretty scary and Michigan was overrated. This is going to come down to the fact that Nathan Stanley is a much better quarterback than Shea Patterson. The Hawkeyes have a major three-headed monster in the backfield. Three guys with over 30 carries, 200 yards and 3 combined touchdowns. Zach Charbonnet and Donovan Peoples-Jones are healthy, but still not looking impressive.

Prediction: Iowa 24, Michigan 17


Maryland at Rutgers

TV Schedule: BTN, 11 a.m. CT

Stadium: Stadium, Piscataway, NJ

Maryland was dominant at one point when they beat Howard and a struggling Syracuse team. Josh Jackson was looking really impressive. Anthony McFarland was doing wonderful as well. Then there was the disappointing loss to Temple and last week where they couldn’t score a point. But there’s no way the Terrapins lose to Rutgers. Even if it’s in New Jersey. Chris Ash was canned after the shutout loss to Michigan. A guy named Nunzio Campanile takes over. Their quarterback situation is still in shambles. The Knights point differential is awful. Maryland will have a good get-right game.

Prediction: Maryland 35, Rutgers 7


Illinois at Minnesota

TV Schedule: BTN, 2:30 p.m. CT

Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

Illinois looked pretty impressive against Akron and UConn. Then they let a couple slip away against Eastern Michigan and Nebraska. The Illini took a week off and have a chance at giving Minnesota its first loss of the season. I really want to pick against Minnesota again. Are they really going to start out 5-0? They’ll be one win away from becoming bowl eligible before November. If the next win doesn’t come next week against Nebraska at home, they’ll beat Rutgers. Illinois has a consistent quarterback in Brandon Peters. Reggie Corbin is averaging 7.1 yards per carry. Minnesota has Tanner Morgan who is doing a pretty damn decent job himself. Both teams points differential are almost identical too. This is a hard one.

Prediction: Illinois 24, Minnesota 20


Northwestern at Nebraska

TV Schedule: FOX, 3 p.m. CT

Stadium: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE

This home game should go a little better than the last one. Lincoln was rocking all day. The stadium was crazy before kickoff. Then Ohio State ran the score up and it all went downhill. Adrian Martinez is still a nice dual threat quarterback. Their backfield has some great guys to take the ball from Martinez and he has some weapons to throw to. The defense still has some things to figure out. After holding Northern Illinois to just eight points, they have allowed 21 or more since then. Northwestern has some issues at quarterback. Neither looked all that great last week. But Drake Anderson is doing a great job with Isaiah Bowser underperforming. Northwestern’s defense was ready for basically everything Wisconsin had, but still couldn’t pull through. Nebraska’s good offense and bad defense vs. Northwestern’s bad offense and good defense.

Prediction: Nebraska 21, Northwestern 20


#25 Michigan State at #4 Ohio State

TV Schedule: ABC, 6:30 p.m. CT

Stadium: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

If I’m not home by the time this game starts, I’ll be mad. We got our second tablet fixed, so both kids will have something to stay entertained. There’s talk that my fiancé is going out. Bring on the game! Hopefully it doesn’t turn out the way last week’s Big Ten Game of the Week went. Ohio State has an almost better offense than they did last year under Dwayne Haskins and Urban Meyer. Justin Fields is the real deal. The guy can throw and he’s a better runner than Haskins. Michigan State though has a fantastic defense. The Spartans hadn’t allowed more than 17 until they faced Indiana. The Hoosiers aren’t wonderful, but they’re the best opponent they’ve faced all year. Michigan State has the talent and it’ll be fun watching them play the high-scoring Buckeyes.

Prediction: Ohio State 31, Michigan State 21

Photo courtesy of Minnesota Athletics

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