Sunday, August 28, 2011

B1G predictions: Week 1

Wisconsin 41, UNLV 13: The Badgers will get off to a slow start in this one as Russell Wilson and the Badgers offense get acclimated with one another.  The 1st half butterflies will turn into second half fireworks as the offensive line and the running back team of Montee Ball, James White, and Melvin Gordon will ware down the much smaller UNLV defense.

Michigan State 55, Youngstown State 7: The BTN opener will be rather dull as Kirk Cousins and the Spartans offense will march down the field like a hot knife through butter.  Youngstown State is a very nice FCS program, but isn't anywhere near competing with a B1G team, much less a B1G title contender like MSU.  This one will be over by the end of the 1st quarter.

Northwestern 30, Boston College 24: This game is a tough one to call, BC and Northwestern are both private institutions in major cities, elite academic institutions, and struggle to gain much attention in their respective media markets.  Both schools have had moderate success the last 10-15 years, going to bowl games, and fielding respectable teams, but neither program has ever inflicted fear in it's opponents.  Dan Persa will heat up in the second half and lead the Wildcats to a come from behind victory on the road.  Montel Harris will rush for over 150 yards in the loss for the Eagles.

Ohio State 38, Akron 6: The young running backs will go wild for the Buckeyes as Jaamal Berry and a host of other backs will combine for over 300 yards rushing.  The Buckeye QB's will have a nondescript day throwing the ball.  The D will be dominant, at least for this week.

Penn State 52, Indiana State 0: The Nittany Lions will be hosting a glorified scrimmage in front of 100,000+ people at Beaver Stadium.  This will give both Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin an opportunity to work out the kinks before the real competition starts against Alabama.  Joe Paterno and his staff will treat this like an NFL preseason game and give both quarterbacks work.  Bolden will likely play the first half, and McGloin the second.

Iowa 44, Tennessee Tech 13: Marcus Coker may tote the rock 30+ times and not have so much as a scratch on his uniform or a bead of sweat on his skin.  This will be a great opportunity for James Vandenberg and his young receivers to play catch in the first half and build up chemistry before the B1G season.  This game will be over by halftime.

Purdue 27, Middle Tennessee 24: The Boilermakers better be careful here.  The Blue Raiders are capable of pulling of the upset on the road and will make this interesting until the bitter end.  MTSU quarterback Logan Kilgore will hook up with receiver Sancho McDonald for two 1st half touchdowns to give the Blue Raiders the lead at half time, but Caleb TerBush and the Boilermakers offense will find themselves in the second half to eke out the W at home.

USC 31, Minnesota 13: Junior quarterback MarQueis will be making his first start under center for the maroon and gold and it will show in the 1st half as the Gopher offense will struggle moving the ball and will commit two early turnovers spotting the Trojans a 3 touchdown 1st half lead.  The Gophers will play better both offensively and defensively in the 2nd half, but it will be too little too late.  Matt Barkley will throw for over 300 yards for the Trojans.

Michigan 38, Western Michigan 17: Denard Robinson will have the most efficient performance of his career completing over 75% of his passes and Michael Shaw will run for over 150 yards for the Wolverines offense.  The D will bend but not break in an easy win for the maize and blue.

Nebraska 52, Chattanooga 0: The Huskers D will give up fewer than 150 yards of offense and Taylor Martinez will find himself against an over matched Chattanooga team.

Illinois 45, Arkansas State 20: Nathan Scheelhaase will put up eye opening stats against Arkansas State and have the country taking notice.  This could be the start of an under the radar Heisman campaign for Scheelhaase. 

Indiana 30, Ball State 21: IU and Ball State will trade punches for most of the game before a late IU drive engineered by Edward Wright-Baker ends things in Indianapolis.  IU will look eerily similar to last year's team, giving up a bunch of yards defensively and moving the ball through the air offensively.

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