Purdue at Wisconsin

B1G Leaders Week 4 Preview: Cupcakes & A Conference Game

Ohhhh, buy Big Ten. We were so excited last week when you had the chance to earn some much-needed respect for the conference.  Really good chances, nurse that you should have pretty easily won.  Yet, buy cialis here we are a week later, the Rodney Dangerfield of NCAA conferences – No Respect.

Penn State?  L.  Purdue?  L.  Illinois? L.  Wisconsin? L. (More on that shortly, they got robbed.)  Ohio State put up a beautiful W, but if the conference is considered weak, then winning the rest of their schedule is not going to win over anyone.

Even Legends Division’s Michigan got exposed last weekend, very narrowly securing a win against the MAC’s Akron Zips (home to current University Administrator and former Ohio State and Wolverine-owning head coach Jim Tressel – hmmmmmm) in the last minutes of the game.  While Purdue – who, with all due respect to Boilermaker fans, has kind of sucked – put up 17 unanswered points against Notre Dame until the 4th quarter, proving just how overrated Michigan’s performance and win against the Irish was.  (Schadenfreude for this Buckeye.)

And now we get a weekend of “cupcake” or “guarantee games,” where smaller schools you mostly never hear of pocket somewhere around a cool million to get their asses beaten in an uneven match-up and see a bit of the Midwest.  But hey, that money is often a large percentage of their athletic budget so who can blame them.   And the B1G gets their last chance to get it together before conference play begins.

Honestly, there’s nothing all that exciting happening this weekend in the B1G and no great rankings changes will result in any way.  But the most notable Leaders members we’re going to be talking about the rest of the season play these games in this fourth week of Big Ten college football:

11:00 a.m. on BTN:  Florida A&M at #4 Ohio State

Why you should care:  Ohio State brought home the division’s only PAC-12 win last Saturday, in what looked and sounded like a home game out in Berkeley.  So much so, that Cal players called out their own fans on Twitter for not feeling like they had home-field advantage.  My money’s on hot yoga, weed and that new vegan spot outranking the game.

OSU controlled the game against the Golden Bears, jumping out to a 21-0 lead six minutes into the 1st quarter, with the offense generating over 600 yards and 52 points.  Kenny Guiton more than filled in for the injured Braxton Miller at quarterback, winning the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and the Walter Camp National Player of the Week awards for his 276-yard passing effort.

The spread for the Buckeyes against the Florida A&M Rattlers this weekend is 51 points.  In their first three games they’ve scored just five touchdowns.  It’s probably not necessary to say a whole lot more.

QB Braxton Miller’s status is still a question, but no one has the slightest concern about Guiton going in again.  It could be a smart move as well, allowing Miller to heal 100% and save everything for the start of conference play next weekend against much tougher opponent Wisconsin.  Although the big question has become doesn’t a QB as good as Guiton somehow deserve regular playing time?  Talk amongst yourselves, I gave you the topic.

Carlos Hyde returns at running back after his 3-week suspension.  Last year’s leading scorer with16 TDs and second-leading rusher with 970 yards, Hyde = power running game.  But RBs Jordan Hall and Dontre Wilson have been excellent performers so it will be interesting to see how much he is played against the Rattlers.

Prognosis?  Bucks win and advance to 16-0.

What to watch for:  The reintroduction of RB Carlos Hyde.  Miller, Guiton or both?  TACKLING improvement.

2:30pm on ABC/ESPN2:   Purdue at #24 Wisconsin

Why you should care It’s the first conference match-up of the season.  And in this one Wisconsin is hoping to take their winning streak over Purdue to 8-in-a-row.

The Badgers are probably also going to be taking out some serious anger on the Boilermakers after the most bizarre “end” to a game at Sun Devil Stadium last Saturday night.  If you haven’t seen it, in the last 18 seconds of the game Badgers QB Joel Stave ran the football towards the center of the field for a field goal attempt and attempted to take a knee, but there was confusion on the play and some ASU players thought it was a fumble and dove on the ball.  The officials failed to stop the clock and it ran out before a decision was ever made on the play.  Wisconsin never got to attempt a game-winning field goal and the officials made no moves to even attempt to clarify the play.  Despite the PAC-12 admitting their officiating crew was wrong and reprimanding them, Wisconsin got hosed.  And they aren’t going to forget it soon.

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So, yeah, that frustration will probably carry over and add to their favor in the very friendly home field confines of many also-frustrated fans.  But Purdue is coming off the high of their best showing yet, leading a ranked Notre Dame 17-0 until the 4th quarter and nearly beating them.

Purdue doesn’t have a whole lot on offense – currently ranked 118th in the nation – and will need QB Rob Henry to make something happen with his arm.  They’re not effective with the run, ranked 113th in rushing yards per game.

But they have been successful at stopping the run…though they have haven’t faced a trio of running backs like Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, Corey Clement and James White.  Gordon has rushed for three straight 100-yard games, and White & Clement rushed for 100 in the first two games.  The Badgers rank 5th nationally in rushing.

Expect Purdue to hang in there and make a good showing, but Wisconsin will probably be too much for the Boilermakers.

What to watch for Purdue RB Akeem Hunt.  Wisconsin RBs Gordon, Clement and White.  Can Purdue stop the run and set up a good passing game?  Can Wiscconsin QB Joel Stave complete more than 50% of his passes?

2:30pm on BTN:  Kent State at Penn State  

Why you should care The Lions lost to the University of Central Florida last Saturday, 34-31, in a game where the Knights jumped out to a big lead and held on, despite some great offensive performances by Penn State.  However, PSU gave up big plays all night, turned over the ball as they have in every game they’ve played this season and the defense allowed 507 yards to UCF.

Moving on.

This week they are a 20-point favorite against the Kent State Golden Flashes of the MAC conference.   Expect another strong performance from star wide receiver Allen Robinson, one of the best in the B1G, who still racked up his third straight 100-yard game last weekend.  In fact, expect his fourth straight this weekend.

True freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg continued to show us his skill and potential and is great under pressure – he brought the Lions up from an 18-point deficit to within 3 points in the third quarter.  Expect him to try to score early, and often.

The Golden Flashes’ freshman quarterback Colin Reardon managed to complete 69% of his passes and not turn the ball over against SEC powerhouse LSU last week, where they lost 45-13.  (On a side note, an LSU fraternity had to issue an apology this week to Kent State, for it’s banner sign “Getting Massacred Is Nothing New To Kent State.”  Stay classy, SEC.  The country doesn’t need more reasons to loathe you.)

The Flashes’ best player and possibly one of the best offensive players in the country, running back/wide receiver Dri Archer, is doubtful for this game due to an ankle injury during their season opener.  That’s a break for the Lions, Archer rushed for 1,429 yards last year.

The Nittany Lions should score big points and win this match easily, while gaining back the confidence they need just in time for the start of conference play.

What to watch for:  Hackenberg to Robinson.  The Lions overwhelming Kent State’s offensive line.  Improvement on tackling.

 

Also:

Indiana welcomes the SEC’s Missouri at 7pm on BTN.  This is definitely worth a look for two reasons – a Big Ten team could beat an SEC team (take what you can get kids, and make like those chant-happy tools down South and don’t shut up about it if they do!) and a glimpse at the arm of Nate Sudfeld, the Hoosiers’ overlooked but rather impressive sophomore quarterback who is a great passing QB.  He is first in the B1G in passing yards at 917 and in touchdowns at 10. He could be one to watch.

 

 

Category: NCAA

About the author: Kristin Conrad is a college football-loving graduate of Ohio State – she bleeds Scarlet & Gray and considers the Varsity Club hallowed ground. A PR pro who just moved back to Columbus from Manhattan Beach, Chicago and NYC, she’s been happy to find that some of her favorite friends ever are from schools she used to hate and that nothing brings people together like sports does.

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