>Wow talk about a lot of awesome games between ranked teams!
Big Ten games
Illinois @ Michigan
Both teams come in at 5-3, so a win earns them bowl eligibility. The road game starts a streak of three away games in the Illinois’ last four contests. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is coming off of a week which saw him be named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week. He completed 16-of-20 passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 118 yards on 21 carries.
After starting the season 5-0, the Wolverines have lost their last three contests, with all being Big Ten games. They’ll be looking to get back on the saddle against the Illini and as always, will look for Denard Robinson to lead them.
Illinois wins if…Scheelhaase plays as well as he has been lately. He seems to be flourishing as he becomes more comfortable in the college game. If they stop Robinson, they have a real chance of leaving with a win.
Michigan wins if…it shuts down the Illinois running game and it goes back to what was working the first five games of the year.
Northwestern @ Penn State
Joe Paterno can join John Gagliardi and Eddie Robinson as the only college football coaches to record 400 career victories, and he can become the first man in Division I-A/FBS history to do so. Who will they choose as their quarterback tho? Rob Bolden is back from a concussion, but Matt McGloin did well in his first start. Rumor is both will play.
Dan Persa, on the other hand, is coming back home. Growing up a Penn State fan and going to games at Beaver Stadium, he had grown up wanting to play for the Nittany Lions, but was passed up in the recruiting game. It will be his first start in State College and it comes at a time where the ‘Cats are looking to get their mojo back.
Penn Stats wins if...it doesn;t let the thought of Paterno’s 400th win get in the way. Choosing a quarterback is vital too. Both are good, but who will take the reigns.
Northwestern wins if…Persa is Persa. He was amazing for most of the Indiana game, but then suffered what seemed like a concussion. If he is over that and the emotions of his homecoming don’t take over, the Wildcats might n Paterno’s quest for 400.
TCU @ Utah
3 vs. 5. Last time the two will face as Mountain West foes. Undefeated. Chances at a National Title. That’s all that’s at stake in the game between these bitter rivals. It’s the Mountain West’s premier matchup, the first on league history pitting two ranked top-10 teams and one that will go a long way in deciding not only a conference champion but also who will remain a potential BCS buster. TCU has never won in three trips to Salt Lake City, including a 13-10 loss in 2008 that eventually propelled the Utes to a BCS bowl game — knocking off Alabama in the Sugar — and landing the Frogs in the Poinsettia Bowl, where they beat Boise State.
The Frogs are averaging nearly 41 ppg, while the Utes nearly 46. TCU has the top-ranked defense in the nation and is giving up just eight points per game. They’ve given up 16 points total in the last five games. They will have to shut down a Utes team that averages 450 yards per game. Oh yea, their defense is pretty good too.
TCU wins if...it shuts down the dynamic Utah offense. Their defense is tops in the nation, but their offense is just as great. Led by Andy Dalton, the team has been whooping everybody all year.
Utah wins if…it can score. They boast a good defense too and if they can stop the Horned Frogs, they might walk away with a win.