Big Ten picks rewind: Week 6

Not much changed in the Big Ten blogger predictions race for Week 5. We both went 4-1, splitting the two games on which we differed (Northwestern-Penn State and Nebraska-Ohio State). Brian Bennett did throw the first bull's-eye of the 2012 season, on the Illinois-Wisconsin game, but alas, he doesn't get bonus points in the league race.

Speaking of that, I maintained my three-game lead against BB, who needs to start closing the gap in a hurry. Like every Cardinals fan, he has Sam Holbrook on speed dial, so I'm not getting too comfortable.

In case you missed them, the full Week 6 predictions.


Adam Rittenberg: 4-1, 45-12 (.789)

Brian Bennett: 4-1, 41-16 (.719)

It's rewind time:

Michigan State at Indiana

  • Bennett's pick: Michigan State 28, Indiana 13

  • Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 34, Indiana 20

  • Actual score: Michigan State 31, Indiana 27

  • 20-20 hindsight: We both came close on Michigan State's score, but we didn't see Indiana dominating the first half and forcing the Spartans to scramble back. Bennett's prediction of two Andrew Maxwell touchdown passes came true. Spartans RB Le'Veon Bell came 79 yards shy of my rushing yards prediction (200) and one touchdown shy of my touchdown forecast (3). Freshman WR Aaron Burbridge didn't have a touchdown catch, as I thought he would, but he sparked Michigan State's pass game with team highs in both catches (8) and receiving yards (134).

Northwestern at Penn State

  • Bennett's pick: Northwestern 23, Penn State 17

  • Rittenberg's pick: Penn State 28, Northwestern 24

  • Actual score: Penn State 39, Northwestern 28

  • 20-20 hindsight: Bennett correctly pegged another big game for Northwestern's Venric Mark (72 rush yards, TD, 75-yard punt return TD), but the Wildcats' defense, despite some chances, never got the interception it needed against Penn State QB Matt McGloin. I correctly pegged McGloin, a Wildcat killer, for another big fourth quarter. He only found one receiver (Allen Robinson) in the end zone, not the three I had predicted, but he rallied Penn State from an 11-point deficit in the final 15 minutes.

Illinois at Wisconsin

  • Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 31, Illinois 14

  • Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 28, Illinois 17

  • Actual score: Wisconsin 31, Illinois 14

  • 20-20 hindsight: By far the best prediction of the week, as Bennett nailed the score, thanks to three Wisconsin touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Badgers RB Montee Ball came through for me with two rushing touchdowns, while WR Jared Abbrederis had one scoring reception, not the two Bennett had predicted. Joel Stave had a solid day passing the ball, although he didn't get TE Jacob Pedersen (1 catch, 16 yards) as involved as I thought he would.

Michigan at Purdue

  • Bennett's pick: Michigan 35, Purdue 28

  • Rittenberg's pick: Michigan 27, Purdue 24

  • Actual score: Michigan 44, Purdue 13

  • 20-20 hindsight: Like many folks, we both expected a lot more from Purdue, and aside from getting the winning team right, these picks were duds. At least Bennett came fairly close (175 yards) on Denard Robinson's rushing total (225). Purdue QB Caleb TerBush fell one touchdown shy of my prediction, and his costly interception came in the first quarter, not the fourth.

Nebraska at Ohio State

  • Bennett's pick: Ohio State 31, Nebraska 30

  • Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 30, Ohio State 28

  • Actual score: Ohio State 63, Nebraska 38

  • 20-20 hindsight: We both came fairly close on Nebraska's score, but neither of us saw Ohio State toy with Bo Pelini's defense like it did for the final three quarters. Buckeyes QB Braxton Miller (313 yards) came fairly close to Bennett's total yards prediction (350), although RB Carlos Hyde accounted for the four touchdowns, not Miller. Nebraska's Taylor Martinez rebounded from an early turnover, as I had predicted, but then he proceeded to commit three more and didn't come close to my rushing yards forecast.