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Looking Around the Division

September 22, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Le’Veon Bell

Every Legends Division member will play a Big 10 foe on Saturday except Michigan, who has bye. Minnesota and Northwestern remain as the only undefeated teams in the Division. Nebraska looks to keep their preseason goal of a conference championship a live while wearing alternate uniforms, and Michigan State is in primetime against the Buckeyes.

Iowa 2-2 (0-0) V.  Minnesota 4-0 (0-0) 

The Hawkeys are coming off one of the most embarrassing losses in program history.  The Chippewa’s of Central Michigan pulled off a 32-31 upset off last Saturday over Iowa. Despite putting up more yards than Central Michigan, the Chippewas dominated time of possession. Holding the ball 13:10 longer than the Hawkeyes. Iowa will need to be better on third down if they want to hand the Gophers their first loss of the season.

Minnesota has shocked everyone with their undefeated start. Senior quarterback MarQueis Gray is listed as doubtful for Saturdays game, but it would be surprising to not see him play against Iowa. The dual-threat quarterback suffered a high ankle sprain against Syracuse last week.

PREDICTION

Minnesota 27, Iowa 21

Michigan 2-2 (0-0) V. Bye

The Wolverines take a week off to deal with their second loss of the season. In Michigan’s two games against ranked opponents they have been outscored 54 to 20. They play at 2-1 Purdue next Saturday.

20. Michigan State 3-1 (0-0)  V. 14. Ohio State 4-0 (0-0) 

Michigan State recovered from their first loss of the season by edging past a winless Eastern Michigan team 23-7. Junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell has not filled in for Kirk Cousins the way everyone expected. He is completing only 56.5 passes, and has thrown  as many interceptions as touchdowns through 4 games. With defenses keying in on sophomore running back, Le’Veon Bell, his Heisman like numbers have dropped. He has already rushed the ball 117 times for 610 yards, and 5 touchdowns.

Urban Meyer has the Buckeyes undefeated, but faces his first real task of the season on Saturday. The Buckeyes struggled with the only BCS conference team they have played this season. They beat the 1-3 California Golden Bears by just 7 points. Michigan State’s defense is going to cause a few more problems than Cal’s. Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller has thrown 98 passes, and completed 60, including 7 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 picks, but he is completing 61% of his passes. The mobile quarterback has been sacked 6 times. I have a feeling that number may go up Saturday.

PREDICTION

Michigan State 24, Ohio State 17

22. Nebraska 3-1 (0-0) V. Wisconsin 3-1 (0-0) 

Nebraska enters this game a double digit favorite, and has looked more impressive of the two through four games. I am still not sold that this Wisconsin team can’t pull off a big win. Nebraska’s run defense has been suspect at best this season, and the Badgers rely heavily on the run. The Huskers are giving up 19 points a game on average, and are the 80th ranked scoring defense in the country.

Wisconsin star running back Montee Ball suffered a head injury last week against UTEP. No word has been released if he will play or not against the Huskers. James White is a serviceable backup. All eyes will be on walk-on quarterback Joel Stave to see how he fairs against the Blackshirts. The Badgers are the 113th ranked passing offense in the country.

PREDICTION

Nebraska 45, Wisconsin 21

Northwestern 4-0 (0-0) V. Indiana 2-1 (0-0) 

The Wildcats are out to an impressive 4-0 start. Most people thought the Wildcats would stick with a one quarterback system this season, but junior Kain Colter, and sophomore Trevor Siemian have split reps this season. They have combined for 80 completions and 3 touchdowns. The Wildcats are the No. 27th ranked rushing offense nationally. Colter is one of the main reasons. He has accounted for 210 rushing yards, and two touchdowns for the Wildcats

Indiana has already doubled their win total from a year ago, and were very close to starting the season 3-1. A narrow 39-41 loss to Ball State last week was a disappointment. Surprisingly enough, Indiana is the 13th ranked passing offense. They are in the top 50 in scoring offense, and defense.  Sophomore Cameron Coffman has completed 70.2% of his passes, and has yet to throw an interception. Indiana may keep this a lot closer then people are expecting.

PREDICTION

Northwestern 45, Indiana 35

By Jimmie Allen

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Topics: Big 10, Iowa Hawkeyes, Michigan State Spartans, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Wisconsin Badgers

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