Iowa (9) @ Wisconsin
As a Hawkeye fan, this matchup against Wisconsin really terrifies me as Iowa haven’t won on the road in Madison since 2015. However, this Wisconsin team has been playing very strangely and out of character from what the college football world usually expects from the Badgers. Wisconsin have had serious turnover problems this season, giving the ball away 17 times in 7 games this year. Because of how great Iowa is at taking the football away, Wisconsin just can’t afford to continue doing this if they want to give themselves a solid chance in this matchup.
The positive news for Wisconsin is that Iowa’s offense is the worst in the Big Ten and the issues aren’t going away. The issues with the offensive line has been a huge factor, especially in the loss against Purdue a fortnight ago, where Iowa’s front got absolutely mauled. Iowa has the advantage as they’re coming off a bye week, whilst Wisconsin on the other hand is coming off a physical battle with Purdue.
This game is insanely hard to predict as both defenses are performing at such a high level, but I would say Wisconsin has the hot hand coming into this one with the number one rushing defense in college football and the number two defense overall. Even though Iowa’s offense has been awful recently and whilst I don’t expect it to be efficient in this game, they are effective at capitalising on mistakes, which the Wisconsin offense makes a lot of. I think turnovers will decide this game and I believe Iowa’s offense will be more sensible than Wisconsin’s offense on Saturday.
Iowa 20 Wisconsin 17
Penn State (20) @ Ohio State (5)
This game looked a whole lot more juicy before Penn State lost in shocking fashion against Illinois at home last week, but it’s still an interesting matchup. Aside from their strong defense which has kept them in games this season, there really isn’t many positives for Penn State coming into this game. Even though Penn State QB Sean Clifford is back, he just hasn’t been the same since he got hurt against Iowa, as he struggled significantly last week against Illinois.
Ohio State have been playing excellent football over the past 5 games, the Buckeyes are the number one team in total offense. The reason Ohio State are so good is actually very self explanatory, they have potentially the best running back in college football in TreVeyon Henderson and an ELITE wide receiver duo with Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, who will be playing in the NFL very soon.
I don’t usually like to count out teams before the game has even started, but I really can’t see Ohio State having many issues with Penn State in this game. Yes, the Nittany Lions are still talented, but if the offense can’t get it done against Illinois, do you really think it can do anything against Ohio State?
The answer is definitely not.
Ohio State 41 Penn State 17
Michigan (6) @ Michigan State (8)
This is always one of my favourite games to watch every season, but even more so now as it’s a top ten dual in East Lansing on Saturday. Michigan’s defense has been absolutely amazing this season and it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. The Wolverines running game has been solid in recent weeks with an offensive line that is one of the best units in all of college football.
A slight worry I have for a Michigan State team that has been playing great football this season is their issues with committing far too many penalties and their poor third down conversion percentage. However, Michigan State has both an excellent passing attack and also one of the best running backs in college football this year in Kenneth Walker. Michigan is yet to play a team as dynamic and dangerous as Michigan State, who have the ability to create big plays offensively.
Mel Tucker is doing an outstanding job at Michigan State and he deserves to be in the discussion for coach of the year for his work so far. However, I think Michigan will be the more consistent and disciplined team in this matchup, with time of possession something I can see the Wolverines dominating.
It will be a very tight game for three quarters, but I expect Michigan to assert themselves in this matchup and beat the Spartans on the road.
Michigan 28 Michigan State 21
Other B1G weekly predictions
Illinois @ Rutgers
(Illinois 23 Rutgers 21)
Indiana @ Maryland
(Maryland 27 Indiana 23)
Minnesota @ Northwestern
(Minnesota 31 Northwestern 20)
Purdue @ Nebraska (Nebraska 24 Purdue 17)