CFB: Big Ten Weekly Preview

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Iowa Hawkeyes @ Minnesota Golden Gophers, 12:00 p.m. on ESPN2

With both teams coming off a weak performance the previous week, the biggest questions will be who will bounce back and who will fall deeper into a funk?  By no means is Northwestern a bad team, but there is no question that Iowa failed to show up last week.  The offense put up solid point production, but the defense was outmatched both physically and mentally against the Northwestern running game.  On the other hand, Minnesota failed to capitalize against a relatively weak Penn State team and will also be hungry for a win.  Featuring a surprisingly solid rushing game, Minnesota has the edge in this one unless the Iowa defense can find a way to stop the run.

Maryland Terrapins @ Penn State Nittany Lions 12:00 p.m. on BTN

Penn State will host a matchup between two teams coming off big wins last week.  Maryland looked impressive while absolutely dominating a lackluster Purdue team.  On the other hand, Penn State squeaked out an important win against Minnesota.  Despite the win last week, Penn State’s coach James Franklin’s job is still in question and while a loss to a strong Maryland team would not be the worst thing in the world, he needs every win he can get.  With this being said, look for Penn State to come out with fire again, unfortunately I don’t think it will be enough.  Maryland continues to impress and I fully believe they are not only a danger to Penn State, but also some of the top contenders in the conference.

Indiana Hoosiers @ 2 Ohio State Buckeyes 3:30 p.m. on ESPN

I know last week that I sold Indiana far short against Michigan State last week, but anyone that witnessed that game saw one of the worst performances from any Michigan State team in recent memory.  Either way, I enjoyed the opportunity to storm the field, and Indiana also proved that you cannot just show up and they will fall to your feet.  However, Ohio State in Columbus will be far superior than the Michigan State team that played last week.  Ohio State continues to impress and no team has even managed to hang in the game with them.  IU will need to play even better than last week and OSU will have to really lay in egg for this one to happen.  Doesn’t mean a Hoosier can’t hope for a repeat miracle though.

Purdue Boilermakers @ Illinois Fighting Illini 3:30 p.m. on BTN

Although it very well is a lackluster matchup between two weaker Big Ten teams, it still serves as an interesting gauge on each team.  Last week, Illinois actually gave Nebraska a run for their money.  Whether or not that was Nebraska not playing well or Illinois displaying some capability is an interesting question.  I’ll say that Illinois definitely earned some respect from me after that game whereas I lost any respect I once had for Purdue last week.  Their whole team looked atrocious and the score reflected that at the end of the game (43-point loss).  I don’t think there is any way for Purdue to bounce back from that so I am expecting a solid win from Illinois in this one.

4 Michigan Wolverines @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2

Coming off an embarrassing loss to Ohio State last week, Rutgers looks for any kind of redemption this week.  Unfortunately, fresh off a huge win against Wisconsin last week, Michigan will most likely not let any redemption for Rutgers happen.  Last week, Rutgers was beat in every aspect of the game and could not keep up with the vastly more athletic and physical Ohio State team.  Given that Michigan is just as athletic and physical as Ohio State, Rutgers could be in for another very long and painful game.

Photo courtesy of 247 Sports.
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