Bold predictions for every B1G game in Week 8
It just doesn’t feel right, does it?
For the first time in over 100 years, neither the Ohio State-Michigan or the Purdue-Indiana game will be played. It’s a damper on the final week of the B1G regular season, as fans will miss one of the most iconic games in the sport, as well as another intense B1G rivalry game.
Fortunately, there are still five games on the docket this weekend as the 2020 season comes to a close. We still get some good rivalry matchups that should keep us entertained most of the day on Saturday.
Now, let’s make some bold predictions for Week 8 in the B1G.
Illinois (2-4) vs. #14 Northwestern (5-1)
Bold prediction: Both QBs throw for season high yardage totals
This may not quite fit the “bold” description because neither Brandon Peters nor Peyton Ramsey have really racked up the yardage through the air. Peters has a season-high yardage total of 205 while Ramsey’s is just 8 yards higher at 213. It’s not like they both have to launch the ball downfield all game to hit these marks.
Northwestern hasn’t needed to depend on Ramsey’s arm as much, but against a bad Illinois defense, he has the potential to hit 300 yards in this game. The Illini will have a tougher time through the air against the Wildcats but I think Peters can hit Josh Imatorbhebhe a few times on deep throws to have some success. Both teams may pass the ball more than they have all year.
Minnesota (2-3) vs. Nebraska (2-4)
Bold prediction: Mohamed Ibrahim pushes 300 yards on the ground
The Minnesota running back was dangerous to start with on any given Saturday in the B1G. But giving him a few weeks to recover after carrying the Gophers’ offensive attack for five weeks? Pair that with a Huskers run defense that could be labeled as “OK,” and it could be a long day for Nebraska in its efforts to bring down Ibrahim.
In just five games, Ibrahim has accounted for 817 yards and 13 touchdowns. Minnesota will feed its running back quite a bit in this one, and he should have plenty of success. Ibrahim’s season-high on the ground is 224 (vs. Illinois) but I think he’ll get closer to 300 this weekend.
Michigan State (2-4) vs. Penn State (2-5)
Bold prediction: Penn State has its largest margin of victory this season
That’s not really saying much, but both of Penn State’s victories have come by double digits. The Nittany Lions defeated Michigan by 10 points and had a 16-point victory over Rutgers last weekend. Even though they’re still only 2-5, James Franklin’s bunch is playing really solid football right now.
Michigan State, on the other hand, is not. The play on the field has not been consistent and players are hopping into the NCAA transfer portal. Penn State will flex its muscle in this one and cruise to a big victory over the Spartans to get to 3-5.
Rutgers (2-5) vs. Maryland (2-2)
Bold prediction: There are at least 8 turnovers in this game
Who’s ready for some chaos and some ugly football? Both teams have shown flashes at times this season, but turnovers have been a problem for both teams. Both Rutgers and Maryland are averaging nearly 2 turnovers per game, but the totals could be even higher this weekend.
Maybe this isn’t the premier game in the B1G, but there’s a lot on the line for the Scarlet Knights and Terrapins. Rutgers could hit an inconceivable 3-win total on the year, despite not winning a single conference game in the two previous seasons. Maryland could jump back on the right side of the .500 mark with a win. This will be a fun, sloppy and chaotic game with plenty of turnovers.
Wisconsin (2-2) vs. #16 Iowa (5-2)
Bold prediction: Iowa snaps its losing streak to Wisconsin
Ohio State aside, there may not be a team playing any hotter than Iowa right now, which has won five straight games. And the Hawkeyes haven’t knocked off Wisconsin since the 2015 season, adding a little extra incentive to this regular season finale.
This is going to be a defensive, smack-you-in-the-mouth, old-school kind of B1G football game. But, believe it or not, I trust the Iowa offense a little more than Wisconsin’s right now. For that reason, the Hawkeyes snap the losing streak to the Badgers and make it six-straight victories in 2020.