Bold predictions for Week 12 in the B1G
That’s all we have left in this 2021 regular season. It’s hard to believe how quickly time has passed, but that’s what happens when you’re having fun. There’s no question this fall has been one of the most entertaining, too.
A week before Rivalry Week, we’re diving into some interesting matchups in the B1G. Both Maryland and Rutgers are a victory away from bowl eligibility. Purdue and Minnesota are trying to get back on the right track after disappointing losses. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State are all in a race for the B1G East.
This should be a fun Saturday that sets up a great conclusion to the year.
What can we expect to see in Week 12? Let’s make some bold predictions.
Purdue has its best rushing performance of the season
Jeff Brohm loves throwing the ball all over the field, but Purdue may not have to do that against Northwestern this weekend. The Wildcats are surrendering just under 230 yards per game on the ground and have allowed 185 yards to all but 1 Power 5 opponents — Rutgers. Purdue’s rushing offense ranks last in the B1G, but I think it’ll have some success at Wrigley Field on Saturday. That should give Aidan O’Connell’s arm a brief rest after the number of passes he’s been forced to throw the past few weeks.
Hassan Haskins, Chase Brown join the B1G 1,000-yard rushing club
Hitting 1,000 yards for Haskins should be a no-brainer. The Michigan running back sits at 985 heading into Saturday’s game, so he’ll likely hit that mark on the opening drive against Maryland. The more difficult path is for Brown, who would need 149 yards against Iowa’s defense to achieve the milestone. However, Brown has rushed for 147 yards or more in 3 of the last 5 games. The Illini are coming out of a bye week, so he should have some juice in the tank. Look for the B1G to have at least 4 running backs with 1,000 yards on the ground by the time Saturday is over.
Nebraska loses its first game by double-digits this season
Yes, the Huskers have played every single team on the schedule well this season. All losses have come by 9 points or less, with 6 of 7 decided by 1 possession. Wisconsin, on the other hand, has ripped off 6 straight wins and is posting an average margin of victory by 24. The only single-score game was a 20-14 win over Army in mid-October. In the past, Nebraska has had very little success stopping Wisconsin’s rushing attack. The way Braelon Allen is running right now, I think the Huskers will continue to have trouble.
Kenneth Walker III vs. CJ Stroud — winner gets the Heisman Trophy
It’s been well documented that there isn’t that clear-cut favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Stroud and Walker are two of the top candidates to take home college football’s top award, which makes me believe the player on the winning side of this weekend’s game will take home the top honor. Walker has emerged as the top ball carrier in college football with 1,473 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. Stroud has been sensational this fall, throwing for 3,036 yards with 68.8% completion rate and 30 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions. Both Michigan State and Ohio State are going to depend heavily on their star player. It should be fun to see how those two battle it out.
Rutgers scores its highest point total vs. Penn State since joining the B1G
Since joining the B1G in 2014, Rutgers has never scored more than 10 points against Penn State. It may come as a shock that the Scarlet Knights are 0-7 against the Nittany Lions in that time. This year, Rutgers enters the game with a shot to solidify a bowl berth and notch a marquee win. It has something on the line. Other than pride, Penn State really doesn’t have much at stake. I believe James Franklin’s team still comes out on top but look for Rutgers to get into the end zone a few times on Saturday afternoon.