I realize that Indiana is a bad football team. Northwestern is better, but I think laying down 10 points on the road is too much for Northwestern to cover and here is why.
The main reason Indiana will cover is because of the Northwestern defense. They are 82nd the nation in rushing defense. Yes, Indiana is also horrible in rushing defense, 118th in the nation! So, there will be lots of running in this game. I believe that will eat up a lot of clock to keep things close.
Northwestern’s quarterback Dan Persa is playing hurt with turf toe and that sore Achilles. His foot will be heavily taped this week and I think his mobility will be affected. After missing the first 3 games, he was unable to finish the Illinois and Penn State games.
However, Northwestern has a capable back-up in Kain Colter. Persa and Colter have been splitting snaps the last couple weeks, so don’t be surprised to see Colter getting some playing time this week. To me, the way Colter has been playing this year, I don’t see much of a drop-off when he comes in. He is a very competent quarterback that could be a starter for some other Big Ten teams.
On the other sideline, the new signal caller for Indiana is freshman Tre Robinson.
In his first game last week at Iowa, he was 16 of 24 for 197 yards and a TD. He also rushed for another 84 yards. So he had a really good game at a tough place to play in Kinnick stadium.
I think he will have a big game at home and give the Northwestern defense fits and keep things close. Northwestern is 1-3 on the road.
Indiana is 1-3 at home, losing tough ones to Penn State and Virginia and getting blown-out by Illinois.
Point being, I believe Indiana will play tough at home and play a good game for the hometown fans.
This is one of those games that a good handicapper plays a “hunch” and follows his instincts. Do I think it is a “Super Bowl” pick? No. However I just think that Indiana will be able to move the ball and score enough to keep it close. I see trading off scores in this one. Northwestern will win, but Indiana will cover on a game that will lay close to the number.
As predicted last week, Kirk Cousins played a great game for Michigan State last week and State covered the 9 and won outright.
Cousin’s was named Big Ten offensive player of the week.
Danny Dee’s B1G Pick of the Week is Indiana + 10
Last Week’s Pick: Michigan State + 9
Season Record: 5-2-1
For a list of Danny Dee’s Big Ten Pick of the week this year, go to the hokeamaniac.com archives.