Week 4 Big Ten Predictions-517 Sports

Week 3 was the first bad week for the Big Ten Conference as a whole, as the record was only 5-4 in non-conference games. The highlights from the week include in-state rivalry victories by Penn State and Iowa, while Ohio State took care of business in conference over Indiana. The two most disappointing losses belong to the Maryland Terrapins who lost to an AAC team in Temple and Michigan State who fell to Arizona State at home. Illinois and Purdue also fell in non-conference games while Northwestern and Nebraska cruised against inferior opponents. Week 4 is a new week though and we will have three conference games and three non-conference games. Penn State, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, and Purdue all have bye weeks before heading into conference play next week. Here are the predictions for the Week 4 Big Ten Football slate, enjoy.

#11 Michigan Wolverines at #13 Wisconsin Badgers Time: 12:00PM, TV: FOX, Line: Wisconsin -3.5

Both teams are coming off bye weeks and will be facing their toughest competition to date. The Wolverines come into the game with a disappointing victory over Army, while Wisconsin has beat up two Group of 5 teams and have yet to give up any points. Michigan is still looking for its offensive identity under new Coordinator Josh Gattis and will have to find some rhythm fast to win this game. Wisconsin on the other hand knows that Jonathan Taylor is their go-to playmaker as he makes a push for his Heisman campaign. This game has all the makings of a low scoring, smash mouth, vintage Big Ten game with both defenses being the strong suits of the teams. While both running games will be highlighted, this game will probably come down to which ever quarterback can make more plays in the passing game. Jack Coan has been very good against lesser teams so far this year while, Shea Patterson has yet to find a good rhythm in the new offense. These two teams are very similar in how they play and this game will go a long way in determining the Big Ten Conference. Prediction: Wisconsin-24 Michigan-20

UConn Huskies at Indiana Hoosiers Time: 12:00PM, TV: BTN, Line: Indiana -27.5

Indiana is coming off a very tough game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in which they were without their starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. As of now it looks as if Penix Jr. will probably miss this game too, but the Hoosiers should still have enough against UConn. This would be a good opportunity for Stevie Scott III to finally get rolling and replicate the success he had last year. Tight End Peyton Hendershot should be heavily involved in the game play if Peyton Ramsey is the quarterback as he likes to dink and dunk. This should be a nice rebound game for the Hoosiers and a chance to rebuild some confidence. Prediction: Indiana-42 UConn-21

Michigan State Spartans at Northwestern Wildcats Time: 12:00PM, TV: ABC, Line: Michigan State -8.5

Michigan State is looking to rebound after a very tough loss at the hands of the Arizona State Sun Devils. Northwestern was able to get their first victory of the season last week against an overmatched UNLV team and is riding a 7 game Big Ten winning streak. The offenses for both of these teams have been constipated to say the least with no explosiveness or consistency. This will be a low scoring game as both defenses are very stingy and wont be challenged much with these offenses. Michigan State will feature the more veteran quarterback with SR. Brian Lewerke while, Northwestern is still breaking in transfer Hunter Johnson. This will be the toughest defense that Johnson has seen in his young career and the struggling rushing attack will be leaned on. Michigan State really needs a good offensive output to quiet some of the critics but, I don’t know if this is the week that this happens. Prediction: Michigan State-17 Northwestern-10

Boston College Eagles at Rutgers Scarlet Knights Time: 12:00PM, TV: BTN, Line: Boston College -8

This game looks a lot more winnable than it did a couple of weeks ago with Boston College falling to a hapless Kansas team at home last week. Rutgers is coming off a bye week and this is one of the games Coach Ash really needs to win. This game will come down to which team can run the ball better as that is the strength of both offenses. Running Back Isaih Pacheco will need to gave a big game if Rutgers plans to pull the upset. Backup quarterback Artur Sitkowski will get the start and have a chance to show growth from his freshman season. The Scarlet Knights will look to keep things simple for Sitkowski and make it so he does not have to go win the game for them. In order to pull the upset Rutgers will have to slow down running back AJ Dillion and make quarterback Anthony Brown beat them. Prediction: Boston College-31 Rutgers-27

Miami (OH) RedHawks at #6 Ohio State Buckeyes Time: 3:30PM, TV: BTN, Line: Ohio State -39

Ohio State is coming off another dominant conference win and will get their last non-conference game in before the conference slate gets seriously rolling. I’m sure the Buckeyes will keep the game pretty vanilla and not break out many things we haven’t seen yet. The goal of this game is to stay healthy and head to Nebraska next week firing on all cylinders. Justin Fields is putting together a Heisman worthy season so far and J.K. Dobbins is running like a man possessed and giving conference mate Jonathan Taylor a run for his money. This game should set up for three quarters of the starters and the backups can finish off the fourth quarter. Prediction: Ohio State-61 Miami (OH)-7

Nebraska Cornhusker at Illinois Fighting Illini Time: 8:00PM, TV: BTN, Line: Nebraska -13

This is the first conference game for both teams after finishing their non-conference schedules with a 2-1 record. Nebraska is led by Quarterback Adrian Martinez and goes as he does. Illinois is led by Running Back Reggie Corbin, and while he has struggled to match his production from last season he is still the focal point for this team. JD Spielman continues to be the big play threat for this Cornhuskers team and can take any play to the end zone. Transfer Brandon Peters has been a welcomed sight for Illinois as he has settled things down at the Quarterback position, and provided them with some stability that hasn’t been there. Both defenses have had moments where they have struggled to get the other team off the field and neither will really be feared heading into this game. The key for Nebraska will be to limit the turnovers and not give Illinois any easy points. For Illinois the key will be to control the tempo of the game and slow down the pace Nebraska likes to play at. Prediction: Nebraska-31 Illinois-17

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