WHAT HAPPENED WEEK 13

 

 

WHAT HAPPENED

 

I went 0-0 last Saturday.  Turns out I didn’t have any plays, leaving me a couple of games below .500 for the season. Not a good season but also couldn’t catch a break. Four of my losses were 1 point or less away from getting the cover. That’s not an excuse, though. I’ll have to do better next season.

My predictions and pre-game comments can be found on my previous post, dated 11-20 (PREDICTIONS).

My Current Overall Record:  9-11

 

 

THE PLAYS

 

None.

 

 

THE NON-PLAYS

 

Iowa 31  Nebraska 28 

Closing Line: Iowa -8.5

FTC Prediction: Iowa 34 Nebraska 24

My ATS Pick: Pass

I predicted Iowa to win, 31-28.  My predicted score for both teams wasn’t too far off, but this game ended up closer than I predicted. It probably shouldn’t have; I think my prediction write-up covers the reason why it did. As predicted, the Iowa offense was able to impose its will against the Nebraska defense, but my concerns about Iowa being outcoached came to fruition, I think. Iowa had the lead 28-13 late in the third quarter and tried a fake field goal at the Nebraska two yard line, which was stuffed. Going for it wasn’t the worst idea in my opinion, but why not use your offense that drove the ball all the way down the field? A fake field from the two yard line isn’t going to fool anybody. I think most DCs would be smart enough to defend against a TD from such a short distance. Nebraska went on to score the next 15 points to tie the game and seemed to have the better game plan on both sides of the ball at that point. Iowa had to convert a fourth down to set up the game winning FG as time expired. Iowa QB Nate Stanley completed a clutch pass on the crucial fourth down. I’ve been critical of Stanley’s performance in clutch situations in the past, but Stanley was outstanding in this game. His best of the season, I think. Anything less from Stanley and Iowa doesn’t win this game.

 

 

Purdue 28  Indiana 21  

Closing Line: Purdue -3.5

FTC Prediction: Indiana 37 Purdue 34

My ATS Pick: Pass

I predicted Indiana to win, 37-34. The closing line slipped below my requirements to make a play on this one. Good thing, too. I woulda taken Indiana and lost. I was off on the amount of scoring- this game featured more defense than I expected. One of the reasons I figured Indiana to win was that I thought Purdue HC Jeff Brohm would be announcing his intentions to take the Louisville job after this game. I thought that might distract Brohm just enough to give Indiana an edge. But it appears as though Brohm will be staying with Purdue, so no distraction and no win for Indiana. Indiana is getting close to breaking through and put up a good fight in this game, but Purdue has the better team. QB David Blough played well and WR Rondale Moore was a difference maker. I don’t think a no call would have changed the outcome, but since the difference was seven points, I will mention that Purdue’s first TD drive was extended by a very questionable roughing the passer call on third and ten.

 

 

Michigan St. 14  Rutgers 10  

Closing Line: Michigan St. -24.5

FTC Prediction: Michigan St. 27 Rutgers 6

My ATS Pick: Pass

I predicted Michigan St. to win, 27-6. The two worst offenses indeed. I figured Rutgers would make this game closer than expected, but not this close. The Scarlet Knights actually had a chance to win. I was kinda hoping they would win. Rutgers fought hard considering they hadn’t won a conference game all season. Rutgers’ defense has improved since earlier in the season and played well in this game. But Michigan St. didn’t look good at all on offense. Backup QB Rocky Lombardi got the start and missed badly on most of his throws. Starting QB Brian Lewerke has been battling a sore shoulder and hasn’t been all that effective for most of the season anyway. Lewerke did get in the game to hold for field goals and extra points and promptly threw an interception when one of the snaps was off target.

 

 

Northwestern 24  Illinois 16  

Closing Line: Northwestern -17

FTC Prediction: Northwestern 35 Illinois 13

My ATS Pick: Pass

I predicted Northwestern to win, 35-13. I’m glad this game didn’t turn out to be a play- I’d have been pissed. Northwestern had a 21-6 halftime lead, which put my prediction exactly on schedule. Then Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald pulled most of his starters in the second half and allowed Illinois to get back in the game and almost send the game into overtime. I don’t know if Fitzgerald was on the take or if he just didn’t care if his team lost. Some of the strangest things I’ve seen concerning the point spread always seem to involve Northwestern. I get wanting to protect your starters for the upcoming championship game, but why risk losing? Doesn’t seem fair to the players. I don’t know about Fitzgerald sometimes. He’s a great interview, a class act who represents well. But I just don’t know. Illinois played better than I expected, particularly since they were coming off a 63-0 thumping at home. QB AJ Bush actually made some nice throws, and RB Reggie Corbin was back at full strength. But still, this game should have ended up closer to the score I predicted and probably would have if not for Fitzgerald’s decision to not go at full strength. Head scratcher for sure.

 

 

Penn St. 38  Maryland 3  

Closing Line: Penn St. -13.5

FTC Prediction: Penn St. 26 Maryland 14

My ATS Pick: Pass

I predicted Penn St. to win, 38-3. As I said in my write-up, Maryland doesn’t bring their offensive fireworks on the road. I don’t know why, they just don’t. I’ve also said throughout the season that Maryland plays great when things are going well, but when faced with adversity the floodgates open. This was one of four games going on at once, so I gave this one the least attention when I saw that Penn St. was on its way to a blowout. It seemed like every time I did check in on this one, Penn St. QB Trace McSorley was running through Maryland defenders on his way to a score or a long gainer.

 

 

Minnesota 37  Wisconsin 15

Closing Line: Wisconsin -11

FTC Prediction: Wisconsin 31 Minnesota 26

My ATS Pick: Pass

I predicted Wisconsin to win, 31-26. I stated in my prediction write-up that Minnesota would do better than most would expect in this one. I couldn’t bring myself to predict a victory, though. The Gophers somehow turned a corner after a blowout loss at Illinois about a month ago. I gotta hand it to HC P.J. Fleck. He’s got ‘em rowing the boat. Minnesota took command of this one early and outplayed Wisconsin in every aspect. I stated that it didn’t matter who would start at QB for Wisconsin. Backup Jack Coan played well enough in the last half of last Saturday’s game for me to consider him about even with starter Alex Hornibrook, who has missed the past few games due to a concussion and wasn’t playing all that well to begin with. Hornibrook was able to play in this one and was awful. Three interceptions and a fumble. He didn’t get much help, though. Wisconsin WRs dropped several passes. Coan might have done better, but I think the Wisconsin coaching staff was trying to protect his redshirt. Nice win for the Gophers.

 

 

Ohio St. 62  Michigan 39

Closing Line: Michigan -4.5

FTC Prediction: Michigan 30 Ohio St. 24

My ATS Pick: Pass

I predicted Michigan to win, 30-24. Wow. This was a spanking. The complete opposite of what I and most others expected. I made enough comments in my prediction write-up to give Ohio St. respect, and the benefit of the doubt when it comes to how they’ve been underachieving all season. But the most foretelling thing I said was that Ohio St. HC Urban Meyer most always finds a way to win. The man is the best, no question about it. Well, Saban is on the same level, but after that there’s no one else close. As I said, everything expected was the complete opposite. Michigan’s vaunted pass rush was nonexistent, while Ohio St.’s criticized pass rush was all over Michigan QB Shae Patterson. Michigan was flat out choking while Ohio St. was cool as a cucumber. Michigan TE Zach Gentry dropped a TD pass and then left the game after dropping another pass, Patterson was off target on several passes, the line jumped offsides on 4th and two, and the top defense in the conference was easily getting picked apart. Eventually Michigan players started leaving the game due to injury. Probably with their pride injured more than anything else. Even with the 23 point margin this game wasn’t as close as the score indicates. Michigan was outplayed, outcoached, outeverythinged.

 

 

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