Week 2 Big Ten Predictions

Week 1 saw only two Big Ten teams end up on the wrong side of the scoreboard, in Purdue and Northwestern. There were a couple of disappointing wins in the week as well with Nebraska struggling on offense against South Alabama and Minnesota with South Dakota St. The rest of the conference took care of business and a few teams had surprisingly big wins in Maryland, Illinois, Rutgers, and the young Penn State team. Week 2 will see twelve games with one conference game between Iowa and Rutgers, while Northwestern has an early bye week. So here are your Week 2 game previews, enjoy.

Cincinnati Bearcats at #5 Ohio State Buckeyes Time:12:00PM, TV: ABC, Line: Ohio State -16

This game should provide us with a better look at how good new Ohio State QB Justin Fields as Cincinnati is a solid team coming off of an 11-2 season. Cincinnati is an under the radar team nationally that doesn’t get the respect it deserves but with Ohio State being familiar with Head Coach Luke Fickell, I don’t see the Buckeyes taking them lightly. This game will be decided on the edges as neither team is a smash mouth team. Ohio State holds the athletic advantage across the board and will be looking to make a statement against a solid Bearcat team. Final: Ohio State 41 Cincinnati 24

Army Golden Knights at #7 Michigan Wolverines Time:12:00PM, TV:FOX, Line: Michigan -22

Last week the new offense for the Michigan Wolverines sputtered at times but showed how much more explosive it could be than last year. Army is coming off a very weird win against a subpar Rice team and their triple option offense never got going. With that said, you can never take a triple option team for granted. The Army team took Oklahoma to overtime last year by controlling the amount of possessions and holding the ball for close to 45 minutes. That will be the game plan once again and Michigan will have to make the most of every possession. Michigan was very balanced last game, gaining over 200 yards through the air and on the ground and will have to be that again this game. Final: Michigan 28 Army 14

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at #20 Iowa Hawkeyes Time: 12:00PM, TV: FS1, Line: Iowa -20

Week 1 was a refreshing game for the Scarlet Knights as they won comfortably and looked better than last year doing it. Iowa started slow against a lesser opponent but stuck to the Iowa way and came away with a victory. Rutgers totaled 554 yards last game and displayed an explosiveness that was not known, but they aren’t going against UMass this week. The Scarlet Knights will lean heavily on Isaih Pacheco and new QB Mclane Carter will have too take better care of the ball. Iowa will stick to what they are good at which is running the ball and playing dominant defense. I look for Mekhi Sargent to have a huge game to lead the Hawkeyes as they should win this one somewhat easily. Final: Iowa 38 Rutgers 14

#21 Syracuse Orange at Maryland Terrapins Time: 12:00PM, TV: ESPN, Line: Maryland -2

Maryland appears to have found a QB in Virginia Techs Josh Jackson. The Terrapins have struggled to keep QB’s healthy the last couple of years and haven’t reached their full potential. If Week 1 was any indication Maryland is in for an exciting year. Jackson went off for 4 TD’s and the team combined for a eye opening 623 yards, and I get that it was against Howard, but it’s impressive either way. This game will be another measuring stick game for Maryland and a decent chance to beat a ranked non-conference opponent. As long as Jackson plays solid Maryland will have a chance in these types of games. Final: Maryland 31 Syracuse 27

Vanderbilt Commodores at Purdue Boilermakers Time: 12:00PM, TV:BTN, Line: Purdue -6.5

Purdue is coming off a disappointing last second loss to Nevada in the opening game. While the offense seemed to be firing on all cylinders the defense struggled to hold the lead against a less talented team. Elijah Sindelar had an impressive game and looks comfortable in Purdue’s system. Rondale Moore lead the team in receiving and all purpose yards and is the most explosive player on the Boilermakers. We don’t know much about the Vanderbilt team as they went against Georgia and did not get anything going. The key to this game will be if the defense can slow down Vanderbilt as the offense shows it will score points. Final: Purdue 37 Vanderbilt 31

Central Michigan Chippewas at #17 Wisconsin Badgers Time: 3:30PM, TV: BTN, Line: Wisconsin -35

Wisconsin had one of the better performances for the Big Ten as the Badgers steamrolled USF in a game some seen as an upset opportunity. Jonathon Taylor will continue to do what he does and lead the nation in running as that is what Wisconsin was built to do. The most surprising performance of the game was QB Jack Coan who beat out a highly touted incoming Freshman. Through one game we can see why Coan was the choice to start but could be on a short leash. It would be nice if we could see some more production from the WR position but it won’t be needed for this game. Final: Wisconsin 55 Central Michigan 10

#25 Nebraska Cornhuskers at Colorado Buffaloes Time: 3:30PM, TV: FOX, Line: Nebraska -4

Nebraska did not show anything in Week 1 that suggests that they should be ranked yet. They were outgained by South Alabama and were essentially bailed out by the Defense and Special Teams. I get why there was hype coming into the season with Adrian Martinez returning and a full year in Scott Frosts’ system in the books, but they will have to be better to beat this Colorado team. The Cornhuskers will have to find a ground game besides Martinez to take some pressure off of him as its very hard to win when you are so reliant on one player. In order to win this game Martinez will need to have a huge game but based on last week Colorado looked like the better team. Final Colorado 31 Nebraska 28

Illinois Fighting Illini at UConn Huskies Time: 3:30PM TV: CBSSN, Line Illinois -22

Illinois is coming off a very dominant showing in Week 1 headlined by the performance of Michigan transfer Brandon Peters. Peters was very efficient and the team was very balanced with 207 yards rushing and 194 yards passing. This is an important year for Lovie Smith and the future of Illinois football. If Week 1 was any indication this is a different Illinois team and one that will have to be taken seriously. UConn is a historically bad defense and the Fighting Illini should be able to be very successful as long as they take care of the ball. Final: Illinois 41 UConn 17

Eastern Illinois Panthers at Indiana Hoosiers Time: 3:30PM, TV: BTN, Line: Indiana -35.5

Indiana surprised many when they started Freshman QB Michael Penix Jr. over incumbent Peyton Ramsey. Penix didn’t disappoint and provided the Hoosiers with over 390 total yards. This game will be important in Penixs’ development and Indiana could open up the playbook a little bit more this game. I would like to see someone beside Penix lead the team in rushing and the defense to appear a little more stout. With Indian being in the East Division every win will be important as wins will be hard to come by later on this season. Final: Indiana 52 Eastern Illinois 14

Western Michigan Broncos at #19 Michigan State Spartans Time: 7:30PM, TV: BTN, Line: Michigan State -15

After just one game we are already talking about the lack of production from the offensive side of the ball. The Spartans only gained 303 yards of total defense in Week 1 against a Tulsa team that is not known for defense. When Michigan State did move the ball it seemed to stall as soon as they were in field goal range as they settled for four of them. Good news though, they have time to figure it out early in the season. The defense is trying to make its claim as one of the best in school history and they showed it as they only allowed 80 total yards. This would be a good game to get the ground game rolling and set up some easy play-action plays for Brian Lewerke. Final: Michigan State 34 Western Michigan 3

Buffalo Bulls at #15 Penn State Nittany Lions Time: 7:30PM, TV: FOX, Line: Penn State -31

The Penn State Nittany Lions, while against Idaho, seemed to answer questions about their offense on their way to scoring 79 points. The offense looked fast and had several big explosive plays. Sean Clifford looked very comfortable in handling the QB duties and the stable of RB’s did the rest. When all was said and done, the Nittany Lions racked up 673 yards of total offense and remained extremely balanced. The strong point of this team also did not disappoint, and should of had a shutout if not for a special teams fumble late in the game. This is a little step up in competition and Penn State will be able to let the offense grow before Big Ten competition starts. Final: Penn State 55 Buffalo 17

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Fresno State Bulldogs Time: 10:30PM, TV: CBSSN, Line: Minnesota -3

Minnesota gave us a head scratching performance last week against FCS South Dakota St. They struggled to get anything going offensively and could only muster 308 yards of total offense. Tanner Morgan looked great in the first half and then disappeared in the second half. The same could be said about WR Rashod Bateman who led the team in receiving. The running game which this offense is based on could never find any open area to get going. The defense essentially won the game by forcing some turnovers and turning one into a TD. Its a rare non–conference road game late at night on the west coast and could prove difficult. I have to believe the running attack will be better for this game. Final: Minnesota 24 Fresno State 23

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