Bold predictions for Week 4 in the B1G
Can you believe it?
It feels like the college football season just kicked off and already we’re entering Week 4. Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?
This Saturday marks the last major weekend of nonconference play for the B1G. After the weekend, we’ll dive knee-deep into league contests and will start figuring out which teams are contenders and which are pretenders.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s make some bold predictions for the week at hand.
Minnesota has its most prolific passing day of the season
Statistically, this doesn’t bode well for the Golden Gophers. Bowling Green has the top pass defense in the MAC and Minnesota’s aerial attack ranks 13th in the B1G. But PJ Fleck needs to get some sort of balance on that side of the ball. Against an inferior opponent, and with Chris Autman-Bell back in the lineup, expect Minnesota to find some success through the air and get Tanner Morgan rolling as B1G play approaches.
Kenneth Walker III has his second 200-yard rushing performance
Nebraska’s defense is really good, but it’s still giving up over 155 yards on the ground. Kenneth Walker III has rushed for 493 yards and 5 touchdowns through 3 games. The Spartans are playing better up front and will wear down the Huskers’ front line. Walker is going to eclipse 200 yards for the 2nd time in 4 games and wiggle his way into serious Heisman Trophy talk.
The B1G does not lose to a MAC opponent this year
It’s well documented that at least 1 B1G team has lost to a MAC opponent each of the last 14 seasons. That hasn’t been the case thus far in 2021. With this being the last weekend a B1G team faces a MAC foe, I’ll say the streak ends in 2021. Bowling Green plays Minnesota, Ohio travels to Northwestern, Kent State will take on Maryland and Akron will battle Ohio State. I like the B1G to get through this weekend, and thus the season, unscathed.
Multiple QBs throw their first INT of the season
One of the more impressive accomplishments through 3 weeks is that 6 B1G quarterbacks have yet to throw an interception. I’ll guess that comes to an end on Saturday. All 6 probably won’t throw an interception, but the number of QBs with a 0 in that column will dwindle. Let’s say that number is down to 3 after the fourth week of the college football season.
Wisconsin’s defense holds Notre Dame under 10 points
I am a believer in Wisconsin’s defense, especially with Leo Chenal making his return after missing the first 2 games because of COVID-19 protocol. I’m not a believer in Notre Dame’s offense. This will be a defensive struggle, much like the Penn State-Wisconsin game we saw in Week 1. I like the Badgers to win this one by keeping the Fighting Irish off the field and holding them to under 10 points.
Payne Durham has a career day for Purdue
We don’t know whether David Bell will be available or not against Illinois, but let’s keep an eye on Purdue’s tight end in this matchup. Durham has been a great weapon in Jeff Brohm’s offense this season, catching 17 passes for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns through 3 games. He totaled 120 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Boilermakers’ season opener against Oregon State. He’ll be even more productive against the Fighting Illini.
Michigan doesn’t run away from Rutgers
This may not be that bold, but the way Michigan has run up the score on all 3 opponents it would be easy to expect Michigan to trounce Rutgers in the Big House. But the Scarlet Knights haven’t rolled over for anyone through the first 12 games of Greg Schiano’s return. The Wolverines still have more talent, but this is going to be a fun, four-quarter contest in Ann Arbor.