Big Ten: Jameel Sewell

Big Ten picks rewind: Week 6

October, 13, 2009

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

Week 6 didn't feature many surprises on the field or with the picks. I redeemed myself a bit with a 6-1 mark, but the one miss was a very bad one.

Let's take a look back.

Purdue at Minnesota
  • The pick: Minnesota 28, Purdue 24
  • Actual score: Minnesota 35, Purdue 20
  • 20-20 hindsight: I was right about DeLeon Eskridge rushing for two touchdowns, but Gophers wideout Eric Decker had a quiet day as Minnesota attempted only nine passes. Purdue blew another early lead and couldn't overcome a series of major mistakes as the Boilers dropped their fifth straight.
Miami (Ohio) at Northwestern
  • The pick: Northwestern 31, Miami (Ohio) 17
  • Actual score: Northwestern 16, Miami (Ohio) 6
  • 20-20 hindsight: As expected, Miami gave the ball away quite a bit. I correctly predicted Wildcats cornerback Sherrick McManis would make plays, but Northwestern couldn't get its run game going despite 41 attempts and several combinations on the offensive line.
Eastern Illinois at Penn State
  • The pick: Penn State 41, Eastern Illinois 10
  • Actual score: Penn State 52, Eastern Illinois 3
  • 20-20 hindsight: Lions defensive tackle Jared Odrick answered my call with a dominant performance (3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks). Stephfon Green contributed 58 rush yards and a touchdown in limited action, but Jake Christensen didn't throw a touchdown for EIU.
Michigan State at Illinois
  • The pick: Michigan State 31, Illinois 23
  • Actual score: Michigan State 24, Illinois 14
  • 20-20 hindsight: I expected more fight from the Illini, who fell behind 24-0 on their home field. Spartans running back Larry Caper ran for only one touchdown, not two, and quarterback Eddie McGee really struggled for Illinois.
Wisconsin at Ohio State
  • The pick: Ohio State 24, Wisconsin 17
  • Actual score: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 13
  • 20-20 hindsight: My score prediction could have been right on the money had Wisconsin limited its major mistakes in the game. Running backs John Clay (Wisconsin) and Brandon Saine (Ohio State) both ended up with quiet performances, and it was Ohio State's defense, not Wisconsin's, which turned out to be the opportunistic unit.
Indiana at Virginia
  • The pick: Indiana 20, Virginia 17
  • Actual score: Virginia 47, Indiana 7
  • 20-20 hindsight: Can we forget this pick even happened? Indiana certainly would like to forget the game. The Hoosiers' senior defensive ends couldn't get to Virginia quarterback Jameel Sewell, who passed for 308 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score as the Cavaliers rolled.
Michigan at Iowa
  • The pick: Iowa 26, Michigan 21
  • Actual score: Iowa 30, Michigan 28
  • 20-20 hindsight: I was right about Michigan ending Iowa's streak of no rushing touchdowns allowed. The Wolverines recorded three rushing scores in the game. As predicted, Iowa's Ricky Stanzi turned in a strong second half as Iowa held on at home.
Week 6 record: 6-1

Season record: 37-14 (.725)

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

Quick thoughts on the two afternoon games in the Big Ten.

Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 13 -- It was hard to see this coming at halftime, after Wisconsin had controlled play during the first 30 minutes. Then again, you can never underestimate the power of the big play, especially with Ohio State. The Buckeyes finished with only 184 total yards but pulled away from the Badgers thanks to big plays in all three phases of the game. When you get two defensive touchdowns and one on special teams, who needs a consistent offense? Ohio State certainly will need to see better things from Terrelle Pryor and co., but it continues to play phenomenal defense despite losing several national award winners. Wisconsin never got John Clay going in Columbus, and quarterback Scott Tolzien made two major mistakes in the loss. In the latest proof that time of possession means absolutely nothing, Wisconsin held the ball for 42:03 but scored only one touchdown. If the Badgers can cut down their mistakes, they should still have a solid season.

Virginia 47, Indiana 7 -- After showing fight against Michigan and holding its own against Ohio State, Indiana still had some positive mojo heading to Charlottesville today. Three hours later, the Hoosiers' 3-0 start looks more and more like a fluke. Indiana got absolutely dominated by one of the weaker teams in the ACC, melting down on both sides of the ball. The Hoosiers had no answer for Cavs quarterback Jameel Sewell or running back Mikell Simpson, and the run game once again was absent for the offense. As I wrote multiple times before the season, Indiana's fate will be determined by its long-suffering defense. Today, the unit got shredded for 536 yards. Not good. Most saw this as a critical game for Indiana to win to preserve its bowl hopes. Now the Hoosiers appear headed for another rough season at the bottom of the Big Ten. But look on the bright side: Illinois comes to town next

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

In what could end up as another black eye for the Big Ten, Indiana is getting spanked by one of the ACC's weakest teams.

Virginia has jumped all over the Hoosiers, capitalizing on two turnovers and streaking to a 21-0 lead. Cavaliers quarterback Jameel Sewell and running back Mikell Simpson are both turning in big performances against a regressing Indiana defense.

Hoosiers quarterback Ben Chappell has done some nice things in the passing game, completing 11 of 15 attempts, but Indiana hasn't been able to break through for a big play. The run game has been quiet so far.

Indiana needs to find a way to get on the scoreboard before halftime or this could be a very long afternoon.

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

Indiana's quest for a bowl bid reaches a crucial juncture Saturday against Virginia, and one statistic in the game strongly favors Bill Lynch's team.

Virginia's offense appears to be showing signs of life after a miserable start, but the Cavaliers still rank dead last nationally in sacks allowed (4.25 per game). Opponents have sacked Cavaliers quarterbacks 16 times in the last three games. TCU recorded a whopping eight sacks against Virginia in a Sept. 12 victory.

The trend is bound to bring smiles to the faces of Indiana senior defensive ends Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton.

Indiana's strength on defense remains a formidable pass rush led by Kirlew, who ranks second in the Big Ten in tackles for loss (9.5) and ties for second in sacks (3.5). Middleton is tied for fifth in the league with three sacks.

Needless to say, the Hoosiers will be leaning on the tandem in Charlottesville.

"That's the key thing in our defense," Lynch said. "We've got to be able to control the early downs and get them in third-and-long. That's when our pass-rushers really have the most success, when we do a great job against the run."

Lynch has seen Virginia adjust its protections since the first few weeks of the season, and Cavaliers quarterback Jameel Sewell is mobile enough to make plays when defenses sell out on blitzes. Sewell has rushed for three touchdowns and has more than twice as many rush attempts as any other Virginia player.

He's the third straight mobile quarterback Indiana will face, after Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor and Michigan's Tate Forcier. The Hoosiers recorded two sacks against Michigan and three against Ohio State, but both Pryor and Forcier made plays with their feet.

Kirlew and Middleton will need to be cognizant of Sewell's mobility as they look to bring him down.

"In each pass rush, you've got somebody responsible for contain and somebody responsible for up inside," Lynch said. "If they're on a stunt, they've got to know what their responsibility is. You can't get selfish and just do your own thing and try to get to the quarterback.

"You've got to have discipline about your rush."



Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12