Thursday, November 11, 2010
Big Ten predictions: Week 11
By Adam Rittenberg
» Predictions: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC | Non-AQ
Just call me Mr. 4-1.
I've now gone 4-1 for four consecutive weeks. Perfection eludes me like Denard Robinson eludes tacklers. This time, I swung and missed big time on Michigan-Illinois, although who could have seen 67-65 coming?
It's frustrating to say the least, but it's also better than the alternative.
Which game will I get wrong this week?
Here come the predictions ...
Illinois 31, Minnesota 16: Vic Koenning will have Illinois' defense refocused for this one, and while I see MarQueis Gray having some success as quarterback, the Illini will force some turnovers from the mistake-ridden Gophers. Expect another big day on the ground for Mikel Leshoure against the nation's 106th-ranked rushing defense as Illinois becomes bowl eligible for the first time since 2007.
Iowa 27, Northwestern 14: The Wildcats have had Iowa's number as of late, but this is a great matchup for the Hawkeyes. Two of Iowa's biggest strengths -- play-action passes and defensive line pressure -- go against two of Northwestern's biggest weaknesses (secondary and pass protection). Ricky Stanzi throws three touchdown passes and running back Adam Robinson rushes for a score as Iowa rebounds with an impressive win before the Ohio State showdown.
Wisconsin 38, Indiana 21: I expect the Hoosiers to play well early and test Wisconsin's secondary with their talented receivers. But Wisconsin can start to smell the roses a little bit now, and the offense will get into gear in the second and third quarters. Although Indiana has played better on defense lately, the Hoosiers won't be able to stop running backs Montee Ball and James White in this one.
Michigan 37, Purdue 27: This is my prediction of the week. Check back this afternoon for a video post that breaks down my selection.
Ohio State 27, Penn State 17: It's tough to know how much of Penn State's recent offensive surge is genuine and how much is due to facing weak defenses. I'm going to say it's a bit of both, as the Nittany Lions make some plays early with backs Evan Royster and Silas Redd before the Buckeyes take control in the second half. A rested Terrelle Pryor runs the ball more than we've seen and rushes for two scores in the win.
Bye: Michigan State
Last week: 4-1
Season record: 61-11 (.847)