Bold predictions for Week 3 in the B1G
B1G fans will be witnessing history on Saturday.
For the first time nearly 50 years, five teams from the league will be playing a ranked non-conference opponent. That last happened on Oct. 4, 1975. So, yeah, it’s been awhile.
Action in the B1G kicks off Friday night with the lone conference game between Maryland and Illinois. It’s another full slate on Saturday, with 11 games on the docket. We’ve also encountered our first off week, with Wisconsin sitting idle after just two games.
Before another week gets underway, I’ve got some bold predictions for Week 3 in the B1G:
Dontay Demus Jr.’s touchdown streak continues
The Maryland receiver has caught a touchdown pass in six straight games, longest active streak in college football. Add another tally to it, because Demus will haul in another touchdown pass this weekend when Maryland plays Illinois. The Fighting Illini have had trouble stopping UTSA and Virginia the past two weeks and the Terrapins have looked as explosive as any team in the B1G through two games. Because of that, Demus finds the end zone again.
Ohio State’s defense holds Tulsa to fewer than 10 points
A lot has been made about Ohio State’s defensive struggles the past two weeks. Rightfully so. But remember, the Buckeyes have had to open the season against a solid Minnesota offense and a Top 10 Oregon team. Life gets much easier for Kerry Coombs and the defense this weekend. Tulsa isn’t a good team and an angry Ohio State team will be relentless. Don’t expect the Golden Hurricanes to get more than one touchdown in this one.
Spencer Petras has his first big game of 2021
Through two games, there are a lot of questions about Petras and whether he can be the guy to lead Iowa’s offense. The Hawkeyes have pounded Indiana and Iowa State despite a 50% completion rate, 251 passing yards and 2 total touchdowns from Petras. Give credit to the Hoosiers and Cyclones for that, two really impressive defensive teams. Petras has been a “game manager” through the first two weeks, but he’ll have the opportunity to cut it loose — at least a little bit — against Kent State.
Minnesota doesn’t rely as much on Trey Potts
It worked last week against Miami (OH), but Minnesota cannot be a one-man band offensively. Potts taking 34 carries per game isn’t the recipe for long-term success. The Gophers can still pile up the yardage on the ground, but they need to spread it around better, even if the backs behind Potts aren’t as skilled. He has to stay (somewhat) fresh. On the road a week after carrying a heavy workload, Fleck will do a better job of divvying up the carries against Colorado.
Nebraska’s defense forces Spencer Rattler to throw multiple interceptions
Nebraska’s defense has actually played pretty well this season, allowing just 31 points through three games. It’s also forced 5 turnovers, including 4 interceptions. As good as Rattler is, he’s shown instances where he can be erratic when under pressure. The Huskers will be able to get pressure on the Oklahoma quarterback and force him to make some bad throws, making the game much more interesting than expected.
George Karlaftis has a monster performance against Notre Dame
This is kind of a nightmare scenario for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have allowed 10 sacks through two games, one of the highest totals in the country. Purdue only has 1 sack this season and Karlaftis has yet to get his first in a game in 2021. He’s still been a problem for offensive lines, getting constant pressure on quarterbacks through two games. Karlaftis will give Notre Dame’s line trouble and will put Jack Coan on his back a few times.
Indiana is held to under 100 yards rushing
Despite depth and experience along the offensive line and an explosive running back in Stephen Carr, the Hoosiers have still struggled to run the ball. Last week, against an Idaho team that competes at the FCS level, Indiana averaged just 3.6 yards per carry. That’s not great. IU is going to have trouble running the ball against a good Cincinnati defense.
Multiple unranked B1G teams score an upset
Four unranked B1G teams are taking on Top 25 opponents. A look at those matchups:
- Purdue vs. #12 Notre Dame
- Nebraska vs. #3 Oklahoma
- #8 Cincinnati vs. Indiana
- Michigan State vs. #22 Miami (FL)
There are avenues for all four B1G teams to come out with an upset victory and make the conference look really good in Week 3. That’s never how it works, though. Still, at least two teams from the league pull off an upset this weekend.
Penn State beats Auburn by double figures
James Franklin’s team has a chance to send a loud message in front of a national audience Saturday night. Penn State has been great defensively and has demonstrated the ability to move the ball effectively offensively while also connecting on explosive plays. There are some challenges Auburn’s offense presents, but the White Out atmosphere and Penn State’s overall talent takes over. People are going to be really impressed by the Nittany Lions when Saturday night concludes.