Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Big Ten picks rewind: Week 3
By Adam Rittenberg
After mirroring picks in Week 2, we had several disagreements with the Week 3 selections. I fared better in those games and moved into a tie with Brian Bennett in the season standings, but both of us, like the league we cover, didn't exactly light things up.
WEEK 3/SEASON RECORD
Adam Rittenberg: 10-2, 31-5 (.861)
Brian Bennett: 9-3, 31-5 (.861)
Let's look back at the predictions made by each of us as well as guest picker Adam Fraser from Gilbert, Ariz.
Rewind time ...
Bowling Green at Indiana
Western Illinois at Minnesota
- Bennett's pick: Bowling Green 37, Indiana 34
- Rittenberg's pick: Indiana 38, Bowling Green 35
- Actual score: Indiana 42, Bowling Green 10
- 20-20 hindsight: We both expected a much closer ballgame, but Indiana dominated for most of the way. Although Indiana got both Shane Wynn and Kofi Hughes involved in the pass game, wideout Cody Latimer had the breakout performance with six catches for 137 yards and a touchdown.
UCLA at Nebraska
- Bennett's pick: Minnesota 35, Western Illinois 13
- Rittenberg's pick: Minnesota 37, Western Illinois 17
- Actual score: Minnesota 29, Western Illinois 12
- 20-20 hindsight: We came fairly close on the score predictions, although it took a late burst from Minnesota to make things look more lopsided than they were. Brian must have known something when he wrote that it's a good week to get quarterback Mitch Leidner some experience. Leidner relieved the injured Philip Nelson, completed 7 of 8 pass attempts and rushed for 64 yards.
Akron at Michigan
- Bennett's pick: UCLA 38, Nebraska 34
- Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 35, UCLA 34
- Actual score: UCLA 41, Nebraska 21
- 20-20 hindsight: UCLA held up its end of the score prediction, while Nebraska seemed to fold the tent in the third quarter. Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley had three touchdowns, two shy of Bennett's forecast. Nebraska wideout Quincy Enunwa had two scoring catches, but neither was the game winner, as I predicted.
Youngstown State at Michigan State
- Bennett's pick: Michigan 48, Akron 10
- Rittenberg's pick: Michigan 45, Akron 17
- Actual score: Michigan 28, Akron 24
- 20-20 hindsight: Like the Wolverines, we didn't get much right here other than the winning team. Quarterback Devin Gardner struggled, but threw two touchdown passes, but none to Jeremy Gallon. Fitz Toussaint rushed for 71 yards, 49 shy of my prediction.
Iowa at Iowa State
- Bennett's pick: Michigan State 27, Youngstown State 3
- Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 24, Youngstown State 10
- Actual score: Michigan State 55, Youngstown State 17
- 20-20 hindsight: The Spartans surged past our score predictions before halftime and flexed some muscles we didn't know they had following a sluggish first two games. We both expected Damion Terry to make his collegiate debut, but Michigan State got more than enough from quarterback Connor Cook (202 pass yards, 4 TDs).
UCF at Penn State
- Bennett's pick: Iowa State 16, Iowa 13
- Rittenberg's pick: Iowa 19, Iowa State 17
- Actual score: Iowa 27, Iowa State 21
- 20-20 hindsight: Brian thought Iowa State was the more desperate team, but Iowa played like it and dominated for much of the contest. Like I thought, the Hawkeyes' rushing attack, led by Mark Weisman (35 carries, 145 yards), proved to be the difference in Ames.
Washington vs. Illinois (at Chicago)
- Bennett's pick: Penn State 27, UCF 17
- Rittenberg's pick: Penn State 34, UCF 27
- Actual score: UCF 34, Penn State 31
- 20-20 hindsight: I came close on the score prediction and had the winner's correct total, but both of us expected more from Penn State's defense against UCF standout quarterback Blake Bortles. Lions receiver Allen Robinson had one touchdown catch, one short of Bennett's prediction. Penn State's Zach Zwinak (128 rush yards, 3 TDs) sparked the run game, as I thought he would, but it wasn't enough.
Ohio State at California
- Bennett's pick: Washington 37, Illinois 23
- Rittenberg's pick: Washington 31, Illinois 21
- Actual score: Washington 34, Illinois 24
- 20-20 hindsight: I had the right winner and victory margin, although Huskies tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins wasn't much of a factor, as running back Bishop Sankey (208 yards, 1 TD) carried the day. Illinois didn't get off to the fast start I predicted as it failed to convert scoring chances in the first half.
Notre Dame at Purdue
- Bennett's pick: Ohio State 49, Cal 28
- Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State 38, Cal 27
- Actual score: Ohio State 52, Cal 34
- 20-20 hindsight: A strong score prediction from Brian, who expected big plays and plenty of Kenny Guiton and got both. I pegged Jordan Hall and the Ohio State rushing attack for a big game against Cal's overmatched defense. Needless to say, they came through (332 yards, 3 TDs)
Western Michigan at Northwestern
- Bennett's pick: Notre Dame 35, Purdue 7
- Rittenberg's pick: Notre Dame 38, Purdue 17
- Actual score: Notre Dame 31, Purdue 24
- 20-20 hindsight: Purdue exceeded both of our expectations by giving Notre Dame a tough test for three plus quarters. I correctly pegged the Boilers for a strong start, but Notre Dame's Amir Carlisle didn't do much (16 rush yards) and Notre Dame recorded only one key second-half takeaway, not two.
Wisconsin at Arizona State
- Bennett's pick: Northwestern 38, Western Michigan 10
- Rittenberg's pick: Northwestern 41, Western Michigan 17
- Actual score: Northwestern 38, Western Michigan 17
- 20-20 hindsight: One of our better score predictions for Week 3, as Northwestern wasn't dominant but pulled away from Western Michigan. Brian correctly predicted Kain Colter to run for 100 yards. Colter and fellow quarterback Trevor Siemian combined for only two touchdowns, three shy of my prediction, and wide receiver Christian Jones hauled in only one scoring pass, not two.
- Bennett's pick: Arizona State 28, Wisconsin 20
- Rittenberg's pick: Arizona State 35, Wisconsin 28
- Actual score: Arizona State 32, Wisconsin 30
- 20-20 hindsight: Our score predictions weren't far off, and Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly (352 pass yards) proved to be a difference maker as the game went along, like I thought he would. Wisconsin signal caller Joel Stave didn't throw an interception (Bennett had him for two). And no, neither of us predicted the officiating crew to have a costly brain cramp.
You've seen how we performed. Now it's time to check on our guest picker, Adam Fraser.
Bowling Green 42, Indiana 40
Minnesota 30, Western Illinois 20
Nebraska 41, UCLA 37
Michigan 45, Akron 6
Michigan State 20, Youngstown State 13
Iowa 20, Iowa State 16
Penn State 24, UCF 13
Washington 31, Illinois 30
Ohio State 30, California 28
Notre Dame 38, Purdue 14
Northwestern 48, Western Michigan 10
Arizona State 34, Wisconsin 20
Adam matched Brian's mark of 9-3, although most of his score predictions left much to be desired. Some of his predicted nail-biters (Bowing Green-Indiana, Ohio State-Cal, Nebraska-UCLA) turned out to be blowouts, while games like Wisconsin-Arizona State and Akron-Michigan were much closer than the forecast. UCF and Penn State ended up in a high-scoring affair. Not bad overall, though.
Who's our next guest picker? Tell us why you should be the choice here and here.