Last week: (3-3)
Ok, one more week like this and I'm letting a coin do the work for me. Geeessshhh.
Purdue (2-4) at Northwestern (5-1)
Call this one the battle of erratic quarterbacks, Curtis Painter and C.J. Bacher have combined for 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions and both are completing passes in the high 50% range. One would think that Northwestern would have the advantage with Tyrell Sutton but Kory Sheets' numbers are very comparable (Sutton gets .5 yards per carry more and has only 38 more total yards and 3 less touchdowns). But what it all boils down to (ha pun!) is Purdue has lost three in a row and their coach is thinking about fly fishing the Madison river in Montana.
TNL's Trooper: Northwestern
Wisconsin (3-3) at Iowa (4-3)
Statistically speaking these two teams are nearly identical. Both quarterbacks are of the mehhh variety and both offenses don't scare anybody outside of the running game. This could end up 6-3 with about 600 yards of rushing. No one wants to listen to me but I think Iowa is a very good team and running back Shonn Greene is quietly having a great year. He's already outperformed Javon Ringer and he'll do the same to P.J. Hill. Iowa's rush defense will do the same thing Penn State did to Wisconsin: force them to pass.
TNL's Trooper: Iowa
No. 12 Ohio State (6-1) at No. 20 Michigan State (6-1)
Ohio State won last week without scoring and offensive touchdown and OMG!! freshman superman Terrelle Pryor is averaging 112 yards passing in his four starts. While he's looked shaky at times he hasn't had the implosion that most of us are waiting to happen (he's only thrown 2 picks) thanks in part to a strong defense that has held teams in check. Now they travel to face Michigan State and Javon Ringer and his 1112 yards and 14 touchdowns. Michigan State's defense has been susceptible lately but I doubt Ohio State's offense will pose much of a threat. If Ringer can move the ball and Michigan State controls the clock they win and I think they will. It will only take a couple bad decisions by Pryor to get the hook and it's bound to happen sooner or later.
TNL's Trooper: Michigan State
Indiana at Illinois
It's the battle of running quarterbacks: Kellen Lewis vs. Juice Williams. Indiana is coming off a creaming by Iowa (45-9) and Illinois is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Minnesota (27-20). Illinois is significantly better in passing and total offense (statistically speaking) and they do have someone to run the ball other than the quarterback, something Indiana cannot say. Take the Juice in this one.
TNL's Trooper: Illinois
Michigan at No. 3 Penn State
There is no reason for Penn State to lose this game; none. They have more talent and experience in every phase of the game. Let me put it to you this way: if Penn State loses to Michigan for the 10th time in a row it may be the end of this blog (stop cheering) and I may have to turn in my Nittany Lion fan membership card.
TNL's Trooper: Penn State.