The halfway point of the season is nearly here, and the predictions race is all even after Brian claimed Week 6 with a 4-1 mark. Adam avoided a losing mark after Ohio State rallied in Evanston. Let's look at how things stand.
WEEK 6/SEASON RECORD
Adam Rittenberg: 3-2, 47-8
Brian Bennett: 4-1, 47-8
Here's one last look at the Week 6 predictions made by us and our guest picker, Brandon Poturica, who is stationed at Morón Air Base in Spain.
It's rewind time ...
Penn State at Indiana
Brian Bennett's pick: Penn State 42, Indiana 34
Adam Rittenberg's pick: Penn State 38, Indiana 27
Actual score: Indiana 44, Penn State 24
20-20 hindsight: We start off with a big swing and a miss. Other than my prediction of two Christian Hackenberg-Allen Robinson touchdown connections, we were way off as Indiana surged in the second half. Indiana emerged with more clarity than controversy at quarterback as Nate Sudfeld (321 pass yards, 2 TDs) performed well, and Brian's prediction of three Zach Zwinak touchdowns fizzled as Zwinak failed to reach the end zone.
Illinois at Nebraska
Bennett's pick: Nebraska 38, Illinois 28
Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 38, Illinois 31
Actual score: Nebraska 39, Illinois 19
20-20 hindsight: We both nearly nailed Nebraska's score, and Huskers RB Ameer Abdullah (225 rush yards, 2 TDs) and WR Kenny Bell (65 receiving yards, 1 TD) both had strong performances, like we thought they would. The early lead I had predicted from Illinois never transpired, as Nebraska stormed out to a 30-5 advantage, and Illini QB Nathan Scheelhaase threw zero touchdown passes, not the three Brian had predicted.
Michigan State at Iowa
Bennett's pick: Michigan State 13, Iowa 10
Rittenberg's pick: Iowa 20, Michigan State 17
Actual score: Michigan State 26, Iowa 14
20-20 hindsight: Bennett finally benefited from picking against Iowa, and he correctly pegged Michigan State to shut down Hawkeyes RB Mark Weisman (seven carries, nine yards). The open week allowed the Spartans to open up the playbook and stretch the field a little more, as Brian thought they would. I was off base here, as Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard, not Iowa LB James Morris, ended up sealing a win with a fourth-quarter interception.
Minnesota at Michigan
Bennett's pick: Michigan 28, Minnesota 14
Rittenberg's pick: Michigan 31, Minnesota 14
Actual score: Michigan 42, Minnesota 13
20-20 hindsight: This one went about as expected, and our score predictions would have been closer if Michigan hadn't tacked on two touchdowns in the final three minutes. Wolverines QB Devin Gardner made better decisions and took fewer risks, as we both predicted he would, although he accounted for only two touchdowns, not the four in Brian's forecast. Michigan RB Fitz Toussaint (78 rush yards, 2 TDs) came up 52 rush yards shy of my prediction.
Ohio State at Northwestern
Bennett's pick: Ohio State 36, Northwestern 27
Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State 34, Northwestern 31
Actual score: Ohio State 40, Northwestern 30
20-20 hindsight: If not for a Buckeye touchdown on the final play -- craziest backdoor cover ever? -- this would have been my best prediction of the week, as Ohio State led 34-30 with seconds to play. Venric Mark had no touchdowns but performed effectively in his return, and Northwestern had success against an undermanned Ohio State secondary. Buckeyes QB Braxton Miller (203 pass yards, 68 rush yards, three turnovers) didn't have his best game, as Brian predicted, but RB Carlos Hyde certainly did (168 rush yards, 3 TDs).
You've seen how we performed. Now it's time to check on our guest picker, Brandon.
Penn State 38, Indiana 17
Illinois 28, Nebraska 21
Iowa 17, Michigan State 14
Michigan 38, Minnesota 10
Ohio State 56, Northwestern 35
Ouch. A rough week for our guest picker, who went 2-3. The Michigan-Minnesota prediction looks pretty good, but Nebraska and Michigan State exceeded your expectations, as did Indiana, which surprised us with its first ever win against Penn State. Thanks again to Brandon for your service overseas. Be safe and hope to have you stateside again soon.