Bold predictions for Week 9 in the B1G
It’s spooky season in college football.
Because of the high number of upsets we’ve seen, the 2021 season as been as chaotic as any we can remember. Now, we’re heading into a Halloween weekend in which 3 of the best matchups of the B1G season are on the docket.
All of the treats are going to be on our television screens this weekend. We didn’t have to pull any tricks to get them, either.
This weekend will be an incredibly fun one in the B1G. Before we get to those noon kickoffs on Saturday, let’s take a look at some bold predictions for Week 9.
The Iowa-Wisconsin game stays under the 36.5-point over/under
Let’s live a little. Both defenses have been playing at a high level this season and this has all the makings to be one of the smash-mouth, punch-you-in-the-face type of game. Iowa has been forcing turnovers at an incredible clip this season, and Wisconsin’s run defense is holding teams to just 53.2 yards per game. Not many points are going to be scored in Madison on Saturday.
No running back hits 100 yards in the Michigan-Michigan State matchup
Saturday’s rivalry bout will feature 3 of the best backs in the B1G — Kenneth Walker III, Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins. All have posted multiple 100-yard games this season. Walker and Corum are both averaging triple digits for the year. But don’t expect any to hit the century mark in East Lansing this weekend. The primary goal for both defenses will be to stop the run. I don’t think all 3 guys get “shut down” per se, but they just won’t have that huge performance on the ground.
Taulia Tagovailoa gets back into a rhythm against Indiana
In Maryland’s 4-0 start, Tagovailoa looked like the best quarterback in the B1G. During the 3-game skid, he’s looked anything but that. He has just 5 touchdown passes with 7 interceptions and has thrown for over 200 yards just once in that stretch. Indiana is struggling right now at 2-5, and while the defense is good, it’s not nearly as skilled as what the Terrapins saw in Iowa and Ohio State. Even with a depleted wide receiver room, Tagovailoa is poised for a big day against a struggling Hoosiers team.
A 4th quarter turnover decides the winner of Purdue-Nebraska
The theme for the Purdue-Nebraska matchup is inconsistency. Purdue looks like a different team from one week to the next. Nebraska has really struggled with playing a full 60 minutes in order to close out games. The Huskers have turned the ball over 9 times this season, not a bad mark through 8 games, but several have come in key situations. The Boilermakers have 13 turnovers, most of which have come through the air. Both Aidan O’Connell and Adrian Martinez have struggled with turnovers late in games this season, so I anticipate this game to be decided on a mistake in the 4th quarter.
CJ Stroud throws multiple interceptions, but it doesn’t matter
No quarterback in the country is playing at a higher level than Stroud. He’s thrown for 1,002 yards, 14 touchdowns with no interceptions and is maintaining a completion rate over 72% over the last 3 games. Penn State’s defense is a different animal, though. As good as he’s been, I think the Nittany Lions will force the Ohio State quarterback into some bad throws and lock up a few interceptions in the game. Don’t expect it to make much of a difference in the final score, though. The Buckeyes will still get the win.