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Big 10 Conference Report -- Week 6
by ASA - 10/08/2010
Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0, 4-1 ATS) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (3-1, 3-1 ATS)
Saturday, October 9 – 11:00 AM CST – ESPN
OSU: Last week: Defeated Illinois, 24-13
IU: Last week: Lost to Michigan, 35-42
OSU failed to cover for the first time this season with its 11 point win over Illinois last weekend. The Buckeyes were able to gain just 290 yards on offense (213 of which came on the ground) and only led by four points with under 5:00 minutes remaining. Star QB Terrelle Pryor had to leave the game after suffering a quadricep injury, but later returned and is probable for this weekend.
Indiana's QB Chappell torched Michigan for 480 pass yards, 221 of which went to star WR Doss. Indiana brings Big Ten's best passing attack (348.2 ypg) against the Big Ten’s best pass defense (OSU allowing 161.8 ypg). Chappell and his receiving corps provide a very good test for the Buckeyes defense, but unless the Hoosiers figured out how to stop the run in the past week (108thnationally in rush D), Ohio State (214 rush ypg) shouldn’t have a problem winning this one. Ohio State has averaged 244 rushing yards against the Hoosiers in the past six meetings.
OSU has won 15 straight against the Hoosiers and is 7-0-1 ATS the past 8 meetings. Indiana has lost 11 straight Big Ten road games and they opened as 23.5 point underdogs (line now at 21.5 points). The Buckeyes are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games as a double digit favorite and 28-11 ATS in their last 39 conference games.
Michigan Wolverines (5-0, 3-2 ATS) vs. Michigan State Spartans (5-0, 3-2 ATS)
Saturday, October 9 – 2:30 PM CST – ABC or ESPN
UM: Last week: Defeated Indiana, 42-35
MSU: Last week: Defeated Wisconsin, 34-24
Michigan State overcame three first half turnovers and the absence of head coach Mark Dantonio to notch a huge win over #11 Wisconsin last weekend. MSU controlled the game with 36 minutes T.O.P. and +152 yards against the Badgers. Dantonio is expected to be in the press box at the Big House for their first Big Ten road game and that could be a lift for Sparty. MSU opened as 4 point underdogs.
The Wolverines are still pretty much a one-man show with QB Denard Robinson. Robinson now has 1,913 total yards of offense through five games. Michigan had a 5 play, 73 yard touchdown drive with 21 seconds left to get a 42-35 win over Indiana last weekend. They gave up 568 yards of total offense and 35 first downs (!) to the Hoosiers, including 480 through the air. Their defensive unit will be tested again this week against the Spartans offense that averages 460 ypg (240 pass, 220 rush) and 36 ppg.
Robinson and this Michigan offense will be facing their first legitimate stop unit. This MSU defense has allowed just 101 rushing ypg (18th) and 18.2 ppg. Michigan State has come out on top of this rivalry in back-to-back years and is aiming for its first three game win streak over the Wolverines for the first time since 1965-67. MSU is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games as a road underdog and Michigan is 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games as a favorite. The over is 7-3-1 in the last 11 meetings.
Wisconsin Badgers (4-1, 1-4 ATS) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-4, 2-3 ATS)
Saturday, October 9 – 11:00 AM CST – Big Ten Network
UW: Last week: Lost to Michigan State, 24-34
MINN: Last Week: Lost to Northwestern, 28-29
The Paul Bunyan axe is at stake in the oldest rivalry in college football. This is a huge game for both teams. Wisconsin needs a bounce back win after falling to Michigan State on the road, and Minnesota needs a victory to end a four game losing streak and salvage a lost season. Wisconsin has won six straight in this series and has covered four of the past five meetings at Camp Randall. The Badgers opened as a 21 point favorite.
Traveling to Wisconsin may come as a relief to the Gophers. Their 29-28 loss to Northwestern last weekend notched their fourth consecutive home defeat of the season. Offensively, the Gophers are averaging a respectable 407 ypg (36th) and 27 ppg. It’s their defense that has really struggled. Minnesota is allowing 221 pass ypg, 186 rush ypg and 31 ppg this season. UM is 7-2 ATS in its past nine Big Ten road games and 8-3 ATS in the last 11 games as a road underdog.
The Badgers have a trio of talented running backs in Clay, White, and Ball. Combined, they are averaging 227 ypg (6.3 ypc) with 15 touchdowns. Wisconsin has scored 38.5 ppg against the Gophers in its six game winning streak but four of those games have been decided by seven points or less. This matchup has been high scoring and close (the over is 10-1 in the last 11 meetings) and with Minnesota players hungry for a win, Saturday’s meeting should be no different.
Penn State Nittany Lions (3-2, 1-4 ATS) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (2-2, 3-1 ATS)
Saturday, October 9 – 11:00 AM CST – ESPN2
PSU: Last week: Lost to Iowa, 3-24
ILL: Last week: Lost to Ohio State, 13-24
Penn State continued its offensive struggles with just 301 total yards and 3 points in the loss to Iowa. They now have a total of 6 points in two road games this season. True Frosh QB Bolden is completing 58% of his passes with 3 TD’s and 6 INT’s. His ineffectiveness is allowing defenses to focus on shutting down the run (RB Royster is averaging just 71 rush ypg and has one touchdown in five games). PSU’s defense is strong enough to keep the Nittany Lions in games (18th total defense), but the offense remains inconsistent and continues to underachieve.
Illinois has upgraded its defense under new coordinator Vic Koenning. The Illini allowed under 300 yards to the Buckeyes last week and held them to a season low 24 points. Their very similar to PSU in the way that their offense is holding them back. Frosh QB Scheelhaase is completing just 54% with 3 TD’s and 4 INT’s and he leads the 88th ranked offense in the nation. Illinois is 6-20 ATS in its last 26 games following a double-digit loss at home but they haven’t had much luck in Happy Valley.
Penn State has won six straight at home in this series, winning by an average of 15 ppg and they opened as an 8 point favorite this weekend. Illinois is just 3-8 ATS in their previous 11 Big Ten road openers, averaging just 15 ppg and allowing 33 ppg to opponents. But the Illini are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog and the road team is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
Northwestern Wildcats (5-0, 2-3 ATS) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (2-2, 1-3 ATS)
Saturday, October 9 – 6:30 PM CST – Big Ten Network
NU: Last week: Defeated Minnesota, 29-28
PU: Last week: BYE
After surviving at Minnesota last weekend, Northwestern opened as a 10 point favorite to record its first 6-0 start since 1962. The Wildcats face an injury-ravaged Purdue team that has already lost its top two quarterbacks, top three running backs, and top receiver to injuries. They used their week off to get new players integrated into the offense, including Frosh QB Henry. Northwestern opened as a 10 point favorite.
The Boilers are coming off of a much-needed bye week after their upset loss to Toledo two weeks ago. Head coach Danny Hope called out some of the veteran defensive players after they allowed 378 yards and 31 points to a Toledo team that was last in the NCAA in total offense (220 ypg). NU QB Dan Persa is completing 79.4% of his passes for 272 YPG (10.0 yards per pass!) with 10 TD’s and just 2 INT’s. He could do a lot damage if this defense isn’t well prepared.
Purdue is 10-3 ATS in its past 13 trips to Northwestern but just 1-5 ATS in its past six Big Ten road openers. Northwestern is 5-10 ATS in its past 15 as a double digit favorite and 5-19 ATS in the past 24 games as a home favorite. Last year, Purdue held a 21-3 lead but ended up losing 27-21 (had 1st & goal on the 7 yard line but was stopped on downs).
Iowa Hawkeyes (4-1, 3-2 ATS)
Last week: Defeated Penn State, 24-3
The Hawkeyes won with a dominant defensive performance against Penn State last weekend. This defense (ranked 5th) is allowing just 63 rushing ypg and 10.2 ppg. QB Stanzi is completing 68% of his passes with 10 TD’s and 2 INT’s. Iowa has two weeks to prepare for Robinson and Michigan.
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