Just a paltry four game schedule this week…the last time there was a four game slate, I eked out a 2-2 session…but those days are over my friends….hopefully.
#24 Nebraska (5-1, 2-0) @ Minnesota (5-2, 1-2) Noon ESPN: The Gophers lead the all-time series vs Nebraska 29-22-2…the Corn has won the last 16 meetings and Minnesota hasn’t scored more than twice in the last five games. You know what readers, I am proud of you. I am proud of the fact that none of you have asked the question lately “What about Nebraska?”…or said things like “Don’t forget about Nebraska…”…You are learning…yes, they have rattled off three straight wins and they are undefeated in Big Ten play….but as typical Nebraska seasons go…they haven’t played anyone of significance since the loss to UCLA..they won their homecoming game vs Illinois and then went on the road to beat Purdue….big whoop. For the Gophers to win this game, they need to be able shut down the Corn running game…the last I checked, Nebraska was averaging 284 yards a game on the ground….uh..not gonna happen. The Corn wins their last gimme of 2013…Nebraska 35-17. Read the full game preview here: Nebraska at Minnesota
Northwestern (4-3, 0-3) @ Iowa (4-3, 1-2) Noon Big Ten Network: Iowa leads the all-time series vs Northwestern 47-24-3…the Wildcats have won four of the last five meetings and have won three of the last four at Kinnick. The biggest story of this game (and the biggest reason I didn’t go 5-0 last week) is who will or will not play for the Wildcats…as of press time, HB Venric Mark is out and QB Kain Colter is day-to-day…so that being said and the fact that Iowa is coming off a spirited outing in Columbus…I like the Hawkeyes to (one of my favorite football terms here) out-physical the Wildcats on Saturday. Iowa is 5th against the run and ranked 3rd in the Big Ten in total defense. Wildcat QB Trevor Siemian presents NW as mostly a passing team, and when a defense faces a team that is mostly one dimensional, they become easier to predict/stop. Iowa wins an ugly game in Iowa City 28-24. Read the full game preview here: Northwestern at Iowa
Michigan State (6-1, 3-0) @ Illinois (3-3, 0-2) 3:30pm ABC: the Spartans lead the all-time series against the Fighting Illini 25-17-2. MSU has also won 11 of the last 12 meetings including six straight in Champana. The only chance Illinois has to win this game is passing the ball…they are 2nd in the Big Ten in passing offense at almost 288 yards per game…MSU gives up about 120 yards less than that. I have a feeling (un-Jackson related) that Illinois hangs around a bit more than they should. After the Spartan offense struggled as much as they did last week, going on the road could be an issue. A great defense will buy you some time…and maybe even some wins. I think that is what happens this Saturday in Memorial Stadium…I have a hunch the Illini start quick and get a lead and the Spartan offense will struggle a bit…but their defense will get them the W….MSU comes from behind and wins a tougher-than-thought game on the road…Spartans win 23-21. Read the full game preview here: Michigan State at Illinois
Penn State (4-2, 1-1) @ #4 Ohio State (7-0, 3-0) 8:00pm ABC: The Buckeyes lead the all-time series vs the Nittany Lions 15-13…OSU has won three of the last four meetings but Penn State won the last time they played at the Shoe in 2011. Ohhhh man…I can’t wait to see how the Buckeye pass defense holds up against the Nittany Kid with the Golden Arm….Christian Hackenberg. Iowa’s Jake Rudock passed the ball with some decent success vs OSU last week…and I will tell you what..Rudock is no Hackenberg….the biggest question is will the kid be able to perform on the road, at night, in the Shoe…that fact right there will determine who wins this game…I know that’s two straight weeks I have not been 100% convinced that the Buckeyes aren’t as dominate as most people do….but regardless of what folks say, the Big Ten wears you down…and their loss is coming…it will happen….but not this week. Buckeyes rally and score late to beat PSU…Bucks win 33-28. Read the full game preview here: Penn State at Ohio State
To receive an email each time I post a Big Ten Football article, fill out the Email Notification Form
You can also follow me on Twitter @isportsChad