Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Big Ten picks rewind: Week 3
By Adam Rittenberg
The Big Ten saw slightly better results in Week 3, going 10-2 overall. Both of us also recorded 10-2 marks to rebound a bit from the Week 2 debacle.
Brian Bennett and I differed in just two picks -- Boston College-Northwestern and Northern Iowa-Iowa -- and we both went 1-1. We both also whiffed badly on Michigan State as the Spartans sputtered against Notre Dame.
Here's a look at our Week 3 predictions.
WEEK 3/SEASON RECORDS
Adam Rittenberg: 10-2, 28-8 (.778)
Brian Bennett: 10-2, 27-9 (.750)
It's rewind time ...
Western Michigan at Minnesota
Arkansas State at Nebraska
- Bennett's pick: Minnesota 27, Western Michigan 24
- Rittenberg's pick: Minnesota 30, Western Michigan 24
- Actual score: Minnesota 28, Western Michigan 23
- 20-20 hindsight: A pretty good start here for both of us, although neither of us saw Max Shortell relieving an injured MarQueis Gray and firing three touchdown passes for Minnesota. The Gophers overcame two turnovers rather than the three Bennett had predicted.
Cal at Ohio State
- Bennett's pick: Nebraska 45, Arkansas State 24
- Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 41, Arkansas State 21
- Actual score: Nebraska 42, Arkansas State 13
- 20-20 hindsight: Another set of good score predictions here, although our individual forecasts fell a little short. Huskers QB Taylor Martinez had three touchdowns, one shy of the four Bennett predicted, although he did correctly forecast two scoring connections with WR Kenny Bell. RB Ameer Abdullah had another big day on the ground (167 yards), but Martinez didn't also eclipse 100 yards, as I thought.
Charleston Southern at Illinois
- Bennett's pick: Ohio State 35, Cal 21
- Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State 31, Cal 17
- Actual score: Ohio State 35, Cal 28
- 20-20 hindsight: Both of us expected a big day for Braxton Miller and the Ohio State QB delivered with five touchdowns, two more than I predicted. Bennett correctly pegged Cal to hang around for a while, but the Buckeyes recorded only one interception, not two, and it came from S Christian Bryant, not CB Bradley Roby, as I had forecast.
Eastern Michigan at Purdue
- Bennett's pick: Illinois 49, Charleston Southern 0
- Rittenberg's pick: Illinois 45, Charleston Southern 3
- Actual score: Illinois 44, Charleston Southern 0
- 20-20 hindsight: This one turned into a laugher early on, as we both predicted. A concussion kept RB Josh Ferguson from taking aim at the 200-yard rushing mark, as I predicted, while Bennett correctly pegged Illinois' defense for the shutout.
Boston College at Northwestern
- Bennett's pick: Purdue 42, Eastern Michigan 17
- Rittenberg's pick: Purdue 38, Eastern Michigan 14
- Actual score: Purdue 54, Eastern Michigan 16
- 20-20 hindsight: We both came close on Eastern Michigan's score, but Purdue showed more offensive firepower than we thought it would. Both of us had Akeem Shavers for more than 100 rush yards (he had 56), as Purdue spread the wealth against a weak EMU rush defense. I correctly pegged Purdue QB Caleb TerBush for two touchdown passes.
Massachusetts at Michigan
- Bennett's pick: Boston College 31, Northwestern 28
- Rittenberg's pick: Northwestern 28, Boston College 27
- Actual score: Northwestern 22, Boston College 13
- 20-20 hindsight: Neither of us had Northwestern running 100 plays, racking up 560 yards and only scoring one touchdown in the closing minutes. I correctly pegged a big day for Northwestern's run game, although Mike Trumpy was the star in place of the injured Venric Mark. The Wildcats defense did a nice job against Chase Rettig, preventing him from leading a fourth-quarter comeback, as Bennett had forecast.
Navy at Penn State
- Bennett's pick: Michigan 55, UMass 3
- Rittenberg's pick: Michigan 65, UMass 0
- Actual score: Michigan 63, UMass 13
- 20-20 hindsight: The Minutemen had more offensive clout than we anticipated, although six of their points came courtesy of a Denard Robinson interception. Robinson still eclipsed Bennett's prediction of three touchdowns by recording four (3 pass, 1 rush), while Wolverines RB Fitz Toussaint finished with only one touchdown, two shy of my prediction for him.
Northern Iowa at Iowa
- Bennett's pick: Penn State 24, Navy 14
- Rittenberg's pick: Penn State 17, Navy 13
- Actual score: Penn State 34, Navy 7
- 20-20 hindsight: We both expected Penn State to get over the hump, but we underestimated the Nittany Lions offense against an atypically poor Navy team. QB Matt McGloin exceeded both of our predictions with four touchdown passes, three to WR Allen Robinson. K Sam Ficken had no 50-yarder, as I thought, and missed a PAT try.
Ball State at Indiana
- Bennett's pick: Iowa 12, Northern Iowa 9
- Rittenberg's pick: Northern Iowa 17, Iowa 16
- Actual score: Iowa 27, Northern Iowa 16
- 20-20 hindsight: I was wrong on the result, and Bennett was wrong on the Hawkeyes reaching the end zone. Not only did Iowa score three touchdowns, but it reached paydirt three times thanks to the unlikeliest of sources, walk-on FB Mark Weisman, who filled in for the injured Damon Bullock and Greg Garmon. K Mike Meyer had two field goals rather than the four Bennett predicted.
Notre Dame at Michigan State
- Bennett's pick: Ball State 35, Indiana 28
- Rittenberg's pick: Ball State 31, Indiana 30
- Actual score: Ball State 41, Indiana 39
- 20-20 hindsight: We both had the visitors winning, and I correctly pegged QB Cameron Coffman for two touchdown passes and Ball State for a late rally. Coffman had no interceptions (I predicted two) in his first start before leaving with a hip injury. As Bennett thought, Indiana couldn't slow down Ball State's run game (206 yards, 1 TD).
Utah State at Wisconsin
- Bennett's pick: Michigan State 21, Notre Dame 17
- Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 17, Notre Dame 10
- Actual score: Notre Dame 20, Michigan State 3
- 20-20 hindsight: Two swings as misses here as neither RB Le'Veon Bell nor any of his Michigan State teammates reached the end zone against Notre Dame (we both predicted two Bell touchdowns). Bennett correctly forecast a big night for Notre Dame's defensive line, but Michigan State's defense never got the takeaway it needed.
- Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 23, Utah State 14
- Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 31, Utah State 17
- Actual score: Wisconsin 16, Utah State 14
- 20-20 hindsight: We both got the winner correct, but that was about it. Wisconsin's offensive line didn't redeem itself, as the team finished with 156 rush yards on 46 attempts, well below my prediction (250 rush yards). RB Montee Ball exceeded Bennett's prediction of 125 rush yards with 139, although he finished with just one touchdown, not two.