Mike: Last week did not happen. Let us not speak of it again.
Greg: Counterpoint - last week DID happen and we must learn from it, reacting in a positive manner that helps us grow as fans while the coaches and players learn and grow as a team.
Brian: It happened and I forgot about it. So there you go, the best of both worlds.
Jill: Happy Veteran’s Day to all of you that have served, past and present. Thank you.
Andy: Ohio St.? What Ohio St.?? Sprinkles & rainbows, everyone! We’re back!!
Penn State (-7) at Indiana
Greg: There’s a really good chance that this isn’t even a two-score game. I like Penn State in this one, and I like them by 17. You pick the numbers. Knittany Lions (making that a thing) win big.
Brian: Indiana really thinks a win here makes their season. Like a win vs. Nebraska would have. Like the win vs. Michigan State was going to till Sparty pooped the bed. Penn State is better than we all think, and Indiana’s offense is still flaky to me. Nittany Lions win here.
Mike: The Nitts have been playing really, really well in recent weeks. Indiana has been OK, though much improved on defense. State Penn 34, Indy 20
Jill: I hesitated for a moment when I saw the game was at Indiana, but Penn State is playing some really good ball right now. Lions 38 Hoosiers 27
Andy: Indiana loses close games to good teams and barely beats crappy teams. Penn St. is inexplicably starting to beat good teams and behave like a bully with lesser teams. Shameless Statue Worshippers 30 Hoosherz 19
Rutgers (+14) at Michigan State
Greg: From the “no one saw this coming three months ago” file, despite being in East Lansing, this game featuring two teams in the bottom half of the conference is going to be “bowling shoe ugly,” with Rutgers getting my money to cover the spread. Sparty 31 Scarlet 27
Brian: Good god almighty no one thought this would be a vortex of suck here. Sparty has to win this right? RIGHT?!?!? I think they do.
Jill: Two teams fighting for the best chance to pick up their first conference win of 2016? One of them is Sparty? I’m really tempted to pick the Scarlet Knights because I wonder if MSU is just mailing it in at this point, but I won’t. Spartans 16 Knights 12
Andy: How low can Sparty sink? Well, pretty low. But not this low. That being said, I wouldn’t bet them. Take Rutgers and the points. Sparty 27 Rutgers 21
Northwestern (-13.5) at Purdue
Greg: I sure am glad that Northwestern isn’t having the crap-ass season we thought they were having when we saw them in week 4. That bolsters the Huskers a little bit. Purdue is just bad enough and the Wildcats are playing just well enough that I could see NW getting that 14-point win. Give me 35-21 and let’s not think anymore about it.
Brian: NW isn’t great this year, and (shhh) Purdue seems to have a clue. That being said, NW should win this game and cover easily.
Mike: Purdue actually has shown themselves to be a better team without Darrell Hazell around. But Northwestern is actually kind of good. NW 42, Purdon’t 31
Jill: Thinking about this game makes my head hurt. Kitties 32 Boilers 27
Andy: Hey, want another exciting stat from this amazing turnaround season where great teams never blow us out anymore?? (Yes, I have not put it behind me.) Nebraska is the only B1G opponent not to score at least 30 on the Boilermakers. Northwestern will keep that intact. Wildcatters 34 Boilers 23
Stanford (-3.5) at Oregon
Greg: Two Pac 12 Powerhouses that are having the types of seasons that no one expected. I think the Ducks win this one in Eugene by 4 points.
Brian: Could this be a job saver for Helfrich? He needs to win out for Oregon to make a bowl game, but Stanford is a team that is looking to finish strong & they’ve won 3 of their last 4 games. Not good for the Ducks here, Stanford wins by a Touchdown.
Mike: Stanford has scored more than 30 points only once this season. Oregon has held a 1-A team under 30 points only once this season. The immovable offense meets the penetratable defense. Phil Knight breaks out his checkbook after this one: Tree 38, Swooshpoop 20
Jill: I’m getting old. I can’t stay up and watch PacAfterDark games anymore. The Ducks are entering uncharted territory in which they will fire a coach for the first time in forever. Does Phil Knight swing for the fences and try to convince Tom Herman he is way better off hiding out amongst the chill hippies of Eugene vs the cutthroat politics of Texas? Or does he try to get Chip Kelly back? (For the record I don’t think either one happens but I’m procrastinating picking a score prediction). Tree 35 Ducks 32
Andy: The paragraphs above are really thick. This game is really bad. Stanford 38 Ducks 32
Minnesota (NL) at Nebraska
Greg: Lots of questions need to be answered before kickoff Saturday. Is Tommy playing? Will he be anywhere near 100%? If he doesn’t go, how much of the load to we put on Ryker Fyfe’s shoulders? I expect to see the Nebraska ground game try to throw its weight around, and that means not only the return of #RunTheDadgumBall, but hopefully an offensive line that is throwing its weight around a lot in the fourth quarter. Regardless of who is under center for Nebraska, I don’t think you can ask them to do too much. Defensively, please, for the love of God, TACKLE! Run through guys! Hit with purpose. Nebraska wins and that beloved $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy stays in Lincoln. 27-20
Mike: I’m writing this assuming that Tommy Armstrong is under center. I don’t think the coaches will want him to take any unnecessary hits, so I suspect we’ll see a healthy dose of Terrell Newby, and maybe a bit of Mikale Wilbon as well. The defense redeems itself, and the Huskers keep the chair. Huskers 31, Goofers 20’
Brian: I think the Defense of Nebraska has a really, really pissed off mood about them. Granted, a shaky back 7 of Minnesota would help Tommy and even Ryker, but I also think the Blackshirts are pissed and want to get back to it. Nebraska finishes with 2-3 turnovers, the Minnesota offense can’t run and certainly can’t pass, and Nebraska wins 31-10.
Jill: I think being back home makes all the difference for the Huskers. The Blackshirts are probably going to have to take this one into their own hands given the offensive struggles (even with Tommy) the past few weeks. Huskers by 10 if TA2 is under center and by 2 or 3 if Ryker is under center - the difference being either a stalled drive that Tommy would have converted with a scramble or a pick thrown by Fyfe in the red zone.
Andy: Ohio St. was a wakeup call for those who thought a 7-0 start meant something other than we don’t find inventive ways to lose to crappy teams this year. Our best win this season is Northwestern and no good season ever contained that sentence in its synopsis. Minnesota is probably around that level, so I consider this probably the most important non-bowl game remaining on our schedule. And it will NOT be easy.
I don’t think our defense is angry, I think there’s a real danger that they’re just lost at sea, except for Gerry who was about the only one who looked like he belonged on the field for all 4 quarters. Minnesota runs about 2/3’s of the time and doesn’t contain near the talent of the Buckeyes, so the game should slow down for the Blackshirts. But will they realize that in time?
Our offense is just average to mediocre this year. Injuries to the line, the receiver corps and very average running back play leave very few teams scared of us on that side of the ball. If Tommy is in there, can make a few plays and limit mistakes, he'll be the key to squeezing out a few big plays. I wonder how many risks they’ll take with him if he does play? If Ryker is in there...
I’m just going to chicken out and use my picks from the Daily Gopher Q&A but fix the numbers on my stupid 2nd pick.
TommyHuskers 26 Goofers 23
Goofers 23 RykerHuskers 17 (Not 33-27. That was stupid. I was stupid.)