Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Big Ten picks rewind
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The Big Ten picks recap is back by popular demand!
Actually, one of my readers living in Kenya politely asked last week. And when you're craving more Big Ten coverage in Kenya, you deserve it, so here goes.
Not a bad week for the picks, as I went 4-2. I had a feeling Michigan State would prevail but just couldn't pull the trigger. Oh, well.
Michigan at Michigan State
Wisconsin at Minnesota
- The pick: Michigan 38, Michigan State 37
- Actual score: Michigan State 26, Michigan 20 (OT)
- 20-20 hindsight: Both defenses played better than expected, and Michigan State totally shut down Michigan's run game, which produced just 28 yards. Tate Forcier made a few plays against the Spartans secondary down the stretch, but Danny Fortener and Chris L. Rucker got the last laugh in overtime.
Northwestern at Purdue
- The pick: Wisconsin 28, Minnesota 26
- Actual score: Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 28
- 20-20 hindsight: Pretty close on this one, though it was running back John Clay, not quarterback Scott Tolzien, who gave the Gophers fits. Minnesota star Eric Decker had another big day, as predicted, and the Gophers committed three second-half turnovers, not two. Still, I'll take this prediction overall.
Arkansas State at Iowa
- The pick: Purdue 37, Northwestern 33
- Actual score: Northwestern 27, Purdue 21
- 20-20 hindsight: Two struggling defenses met the challenge, and Northwestern held Boilers running back Ralph Bolden in check for most of the game. I also swung and missed on Wildcats quarterback Mike Kafka, who came through in the clutch to lead the game-winning touchdown drive after committing late turnovers in each of his last two games.
Penn State at Illinois
- The pick: Iowa 30, Arkansas State 10
- Actual score: Iowa 24, Arkansas State 21
- 20-20 hindsight: My prediction looked pretty good when Iowa scored to open the second half and went ahead 21-7. Quarterback Ricky Stanzi nearly backed me up with a "steady and complete performance," but his interception returned for a touchdown put a damper on his day. Stanzi ended up finding Marvin McNutt for two touchdowns, not Derrell Johnson-Koulianos.
Ohio State at Indiana
- The pick: Penn State 26, Illinois 17
- Actual score: Penn State 35, Illinois 17
- 20-20 hindsight: I pegged Illinois' score right on the number, but I thought the Illini would be competitive throughout the game, not just in the first half. Penn State running back Evan Royster got on track (105 rush yards, TD), just as I predicted, but so did Stephfon Green and Daryll Clark as the Lions' running game finally caught fire.
Week 5 record: 4-2
- The pick: Ohio State 27, Indiana 14
- Actual score: Ohio State 33, Indiana 14
- 20-20 hindsight: I ended up pretty close on the score, though it should have been more lopsided. Ohio State still struggles to put together complete 60-minute games. I was right about quarterback Terrelle Pryor and running back Brandon Saine having a big night on the ground against the Hoosiers defense.
Season record: 31-13 (.705)