Week 4 Predictions – 2021

Last Week:  The final score was not a reflection of how tight the game was played but in the end, the Buckeyes once again took care of business with their 41-20 win over Tulsa. Not sure if any of the defensive woes were solved but let’s not forget Tulsa was the AAC runner-up last year and they were held to 20 points.  As for the Buckeye50 predictions last week, seven staffers were 5-0 including Josh who remains on top the standings with an 11-1 record.  Jason is the only person at 10-2 in second while everyone else is 9-3 and 8-4. So overall, still a nice start.  In contrast, ESPN’s Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica is behind that pace with a 6-4 mark so far this year.

This Week’s Games:  The Buckeyes will be playing their second night game in four weeks. This should be the easiest game for Ohio State so far this season.  Will they get some problems solved and start to again look like a playoff contender?  ….  Wisconsin and Notre Dame travel to the Windy City to square off in Soldier Field. Will the Irish get some problems solved and start o again look like a playoff contender?  ….  In the SEC, Texas A&M and Arkansas come into today’s matchup both unbeaten.  Can the Razorbacks get over the hump and beat the Aggies or will A&M get the win and continue a path to look like a playoff contender?  ….  Clemson goes on the road to play NC State on the fairgrounds in Raleigh.  Can the Tigers get their offense on track and again look like a playoff contender?  ….  Rutgers will be in the Big House this weekend where they have been the victim some loopsided loses.  Michigan has looked solid against some inferior foes but that will not be the case this week.  Can Michigan get another win and make people think they are a playoff contender?  

Buckeye Greats:   As with the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the seventh straight year.

Here we go with our Week 4 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg

Akron  @  (11)Ohio State

Andy:  The ongoing experiements with the Ohio State defense should make this game interesting to watch.The highlight of the defense last week were the younger players, Cameron Martinez, Denel Burke, Tyliek Williams, J.T. Tuimoloau, Cody Simon and Craig Young. Will we see more changes this week, but on the offensive side of the ball? Throwing for under 200 yards on Tulsa when you have a receiver corps like OSU does this year is a shame, they should be going for 350+ yards each game. I’ll make a bold prediction that we will see either Jack Miller or Kyle McCord this game, if for no other reason than it seems like CJ Stroud’s throwing shoulder has really limited him recently due to injury. I would break down this matchup more, but Akron is one of the worst teams in division one football this game should be very one-sided.   Ohio State 54  Akron 17

Coach Rick:  I do not think OSU will cover the spread, but they will win big.  The only good thing about this game is it helps Akron covering their budget.

Cory:  When you watch Ohio State you see a team that is still learning to be good, and that is OK. The 2014 team didn’t become an elite team until the end of the season. The 2002 team had close calls at pretty much every step of the way. For the 2021 Buckeyes progress is the name of the game. Offensively, the Buckeyes should rely on a heavy rushing attack to set up the pass. Quarterback CJ Stroud looks like a guy who’s trying to do much, and considering he’s a freshman, a first-time starter, and dealing with a minor shoulder injury, it should come as no surprise that he is pressing a bit. Getting backs TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams going early will ease some of that pressure. The Buckeyes should embrace the running game, it’s OK to make it the focal of your offense. Defensively, we saw improvements last week. Yes, the unit still gave up a lot of passing yards but they also had two sacks and two interceptions, which eclipsed the two previous games combined. Akron will not pose much of a challenge so the hope is not just to see Kyle McCord a little bit at quarterback, but that a lot of these young players get some much needed confidence to help going forward.   Ohio State 48, Akron 10

Dave:  Ohio State 52  Akron 21    

GreggThe headline for this week is CJ Stoud will only be used in an emergency situation. If there is any time against the Zips where they need to bring him into the game, the emergency is the 2021 season.  The Buckeyes will play both Kyle McCord and Jack Miller and they should combine for at least 400 yards of passing.  That is if they don’t focus on the running, in which we may see 400 yards of rushing. Hopefully they coaching staff does not let off the gas offensively at any time and the Buckeyes find a way to get some answers on the offensive side of the ball. Not sure what we can learn on the defensive side, Akron has only scored 69 point all season so don’t expect them to light up the scoreboard.  Perhaps the Buckeyes will install some things that shut down the Zip running game.  But their real tests are not going to come until the Big Ten East games start up.  Hopefully this one is decided early.   Ohio State 55  Akron 10 

Jason:  The Buckeyes are having big problems.  They can’t stop anyone.  Even lowly Tulsa, a team who struggled offensively coming into the game, had a relatively easy time moving the ball against a Buckeye defense who is struggling to get any negative plays. The offense hasn’t been an issue between the 20’s but the red zone has been a bit of a problem.  The emergence of star freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson adds a new element to the offense that is loaded with playmakers around QB CJ Stroud and should take some pressure off Stroud and open things up more for the WR’s to get loose. The defense is another issue.  Coach Ryan Day has taken an increased focus on that side of the ball and time will tell if they can patch the holes and improve enough to be a legitimate playoff contender. This game is more about the Buckeyes than the opponent.  The Zips will provide nothing more than a glorified scrimmage as Ohio State should be able to do whatever it wants.  The Buckeyes just need to get out of this one without any significant injury, and get plenty of players experience and a little film on which to improve moving forward.  Look for Ohio State to score early and often, burying Akron in the first 30 minutes allowing the 2nd and 3rd teamers, including their backup QB’s, plenty of game experience and get Stroud, who is nursing an ankle injury, to the sideline.   Ohio State 63 Akron 10

Joe-S-U:  Joe-S-U picks O-S-U

John:  Well, the CJ Stroud haters will get their wish this week, as he will be taking this one off to rest his injured shoulder.  It won’t affect the outcome, as Upper Arlington H.S. would probably give OSU a stiffer test than the Zips.  While the outcome of this one should never be in doubt, until the D shows they can stop someone with a pulse there is no way I’d bet on the Bucks to cover a 50 point spread.   Ohio State 52  Akron 21

Josh: The night game atmosphere should be fun for the players, but this is a mismatch game that Ohio State should win convincingly. I anticipate the defense to start to get some things fixed and build off of their progress with the new schemes from the Tulsa game. With a new QB, it will be interesting to see how the offense performs, but Olave and Wilson have been open all day against any opponent. All that the QB needs to do is find them, or just let TreVeyon Henderson do his thing.  Ohio State 56 – Akron 7

Steven: So we finally get to see another quarterback take the reins of this offense.  Hopefully,  the drop-off isn’t severe. The defense will need to make strides this week as so far there’s been a lot of new faces, and a few flashes but not a lot of cohesion.  So Akron comes at a good time.  We should work 100% on fixing the run defense because that’s what we’re going to see from here on, and frankly, the corners have been able to hold their own through three games.  Frankly, they’ve been the one bright spot in an abysmal start to the season for the Silver Bullets.  Offensively, we should be able to put up at least 50 on the Zips.  How much we give up is the more important number.  Anything over 13 is too much, but still may happen.  OSU 55-21.

TroutOhio State should have no problem with Akron. The Zips are one of the worst teams in College Football. As bad as the Buckeye defense has been, they should be able handle whatever Akron throws at them. Also, no matter which quarterback is out there for the Buckeyes, they should at least play well. This game won’t be close. Even with Ohio State’s woes, they are still head and shoulders above Akron. They should be able to score with little resistance. I do think the Zips get a score or two, especially with the Buck’s bad secondary. However, it won’t be enough. Ohio State wins big. (Ohio State 56-10)  

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Akron is about as low as you can go when you bring up hapless college football teams. However, when your defense seems just as hapless it’s not by how much you’ll beat somebody it’s how close will the score be. I thought OSU’s offense would be limitless this year but something just ain’t right. One simple fix would be to have CJ do a JT imitation a few plays to at least make the defense wonder if he might run. Our defense needs slow down the constant substitutions and identify who the play makers are. Get you subs in when you’re up by 30 or 40. OSU zip ties the Zips 54-20 

Final Score:  Ohio State 59   Akron 7 

(12)Notre Dame  @  (18)Wisconsin

Andy:  One of the most interesting matchups of the week, this one comes to us from Soldier Field in Chicago. This is a rebuilding year for Notre Dame, but they’ve managed to stay unbeaten through three games so far. Transfer quarterback Jack Coan has looked good so far for Notre Dame and so has Kyren Williams. I think their luck is about to run out. I think this Wisconsin defense is one of the best in the Big Ten. They kept Penn State to 300 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in their first game of the season. Jack Coan knows his former team better than any QB will in the country this year when they line up to play their opponent. I don’t know if that will be enough to win the game.   Wisconsin 17  Notre Dame 14

Coach Rick:  Not sure about this game.  I think this is going to be a close game with the home team coming out on top.  Wisky by 7 

Cory:  Is either team as good as advertised? Notre Dame looked pretty good in a season-opening win over Florida State, then struggled with Toledo and Purdue. Wisconsin struggled offensively against Penn State, then played Eastern Michigan. The Badgers ran the ball 55 times against Eastern Michigan, and you have to imagine there will be a bit more balance to their offense this week. Notre Dame needs more out of running back Kyren Williams. He came into this season with big expectations but so far he’s got 211 yards and two touchdowns in three games. The Irish cannot leave the game in quarterback Jack Coan’s hands. Coan is accurate and doesn’t make a ton of mistakes, however, he doesn’t make a ton of big plays, either. Going against his former team this week will serve as motivation, but the Badgers have a legitimately good defense. Watching this Notre Dame team I am not confident they can win a big game like this.   Wisconsin 27, Notre Dame 21

Dave:  Notre Dame 24  Wisconsin 21  

GreggI think both of these teams come in a bit over rated. Notre Dame is not the same team they were last year and are likely going to need a 12-0 season to get into the playoffs.  Wisconsin had a very slow start the first week against Penn State but we have seen now that the Lions are pretty good so there is no shame in that.  One thing I think we can say for sure is this will be a low scoring game.  Wisconsin has lot allowed any points in the first half this season.  Take the under and take the Badgers in a nice win for the Big Ten.  THe Irish saw they don’t want to join a conference to keep their independence.  I say the reality is they know they could not compete week in and week out.  Wisconson 17  Notre Dame 13

Jason:  The Irish come into this one struggling and although they are 3-0, they took OT to beat a terrible Florida State team and took a late drive to avoid losing to Toledo.  Last week, a late score got them by Purdue, but bottom line is 3-0 and a chance to go 4-0.  Wisconsin struggled on offense early in a loss to Penn State, and without a dominant ground game that they are used to in Madison, they are relying more on the pass and it hasn’t been sharp.  On the other side of the ball, the Badger defense has been nothing short of outstanding, ranking 2nd in the nation in total defense.  Former Wisconsin starter Jack Coan will lead the Irish against his former team and should play with a chip.  He has been good, averaging over 300 passing yards per game with nine touchdown passes.  On defense, the Irish will look to pressure – Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz and when he doesn’t have time to throw, he has really struggled and turned the ball over. Notre Dame will need to shorten the field by turning the Badgers over but they won’t be able to sustain long drives because they will not run on Wisconsin.  Look for the Badgers to get the ball out quick and stay ahead of the sticks and short of a few big plays, Notre Dame will struggle to get anything against the Badger defense.  Wisconsin gets the big win and gets some momentum heading into the thick of Big Ten play.  Wisconsin 31 Notre Dame 21

Joe-S-U:  Domers

John: Somehow the Badgers are favored in this one.  Not sure how – I guess since the game is at Lambeau Field it’s a pseudo home game for UW?  Either way, home field is usually only worth 3 to 3 ½ points to the gamblers, and the line had been pretty steady at 6 ½ to 7.  Just don’t see it.  While I think the Badger’s win, I think it will be a field goal difference.   Wisconsin 27  Notre Dame 24

JoshNotre Dame has played in closer games than their ranking, but will be going against a tougher defense than they have ever played so far this season. With this neutral site game, this will be a good game to eliminate some of the home field advantage, and both College Game Day and Big Noon Kickoff will be there. I think Wisconsin will make enough stops to win this game in an upset. Wisconsin 24 – Notre Dame 17

Steven: Despite their high rank, the Fighting Irish have not been great over the last 3 weeks.  Much like Ohio State, the Irish defense has come under serious scrutiny.  The Irish are a lesser opponent than Penn State, who Wisconsin lost to, but may have had every right to win if they could cut down on mistakes. I say they fix the errors and get it done.  Wisky 34-27

Trout: I am picking the Badgers in this game. Although I don’t believe they are great by any means, I just don’t think Notre Dame is that good. The Irish have scrapped by in the first few weeks. Yes, they are undefeated, but that is against Florida State, who lost to an FCS school, Toledo, and Purdue. None of those teams are world beaters, and the Irish have played down to them. Wisconsin is the best team they have faced so far, and I don’t think they will be able to sneak out a win against them. I still think it’ll be a close game. Wisconsin doesn’t have the talent to run it up on the Irish, but in the end, the Badgers beat the Irish, and ruin any chances of Notre Dame getting to the playoffs. (Wisconsin, 24-21)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Notre Dame is visiting the hallowed Soldier Field in the Windy City. They bring with them Jack Coan, the former starting QB for Wisconsin. Will he press to prove he’s the best QB on the field? However, the Irish haven’t been setting the world on fire. When will Wisconsin generate a consistent offense? Even with that I am going with the Badgers to upset the Irish 21-17.  

Final Score:  Notre Dame 41   Wisconsin 13

(7)Texas A&M (16)Arkansas

Andy:  I think this is the matchup of the week for college football.  A lot of people don’t realize that this Arkansas squad is tough, they’re 3-0 and they’re coming off a beat down of the Texas Longhorns. Not only that, but the Razorbacks have consistently had one of the toughest schedules in all of college football the past two seasons, so it is hard to appreciate a team that lost seven games last year, but when you look at their insane schedule its hard to blame them. Texas A&M was dealt a difficult hand early this season when the future of their program at quarterback Haynes King fractured his ankle during a game. The good thing for the Aggies is that they have two great running backs in Spiller and Achane who have combined for nearly 500 yards together through three games on the ground. So far Arkansas has only given up just over 300 yards on the ground through three games, so this game should be interesting to watch in terms of which team will be able to execute their gameplan. I don’t Texas A&M will run all over Arkansas like they have their other opponents, that said I think they’ll do enough to win the game.   Texas A&M 28  Arkansas 21

Coach Rick:  I am lead to believe that Texas A&M is the better team in this game.  I have the Aggies winning by 10. 

Cory:  For a top-10 team Texas A&M has a real issue at quarterback. So far the Aggies have played against Kent State, Colorado, and New Mexico and in those three games their quarterbacks combined for six touchdowns and five interceptions. Arkansas doesn’t have a great quarterback situation either, however, the Razorbacks make up for it with a punishing running game that totaled 847 rushing yards in three games.Normally I would pick Texas A&M in this game but Arkansas plays tough, and the Razorbacks have played a tougher schedule, which includes an impressive upset over Texas.   Arkansas 31  Texas A&M 24 

Dave:  Texas A&M 32  Arkansas 21 

Gregg Texas A&M has only given up 17 points this year, Arkansas has scored 123 points which is the same number of points Alabama has racked up.  The Razorbacks have a long losing streak against the Aggies but 5 of the last 7 have been a loss by one score or less.  I think Arkansas’s running game is the difference and they pull off the upset at home.   Arkansas  31  Texas A&M 24

Jason:  Arkansas is 3-0.  Let that sink in for a minute.  Led by a running game that hit Texas for over 300 yards and a QB, KJ Jefferson, who is becoming a star, the offense is explosive and the defense is allowing just 263 yards per game.  On the other side, Texas A&M is turning it over too much, the offense is struggling, but the defense has been stout.  Aggies QB Zach Calzada is settling in but they are struggling to score in the red zone, but that defense will keep them in most games. This has the makings of a good football game and both teams will lean on their defense.  Arkansas’ offense has been real good but hasn’t went against anything near what they will see across from them on Saturday. Neither team will pass well enough, and both ground games will struggle to find their stride but the Aggie defense will do enough to give the A&M offense short fields.  It will be a struggle but the Aggies will do enough to come away with the win.   Texas A&M 28  Arkansas 24

Joe-S-U:  A&M

John:  Of the two, Arkansas is the more battle tested having beaten a ranked Texas team in week 2.  The only team among A & M’s first three opponents with anything resembling a pulse is 1-2 Colorado, who after losing a 10-7 squeaker to the Aggies got blitzed 30-0 by Minnesota.  While A & M is a slight Vegas favorite in this one, I like the Hog’s to pull the mild upset.   Arkansas 27  Texas A & M 24

Josh: Arkansas has a very lethal running game which Texas A&M will need to defend, but that will force Arkansas to win this game in the air. Both of these teams are still trying to find an identity and have not really separated themselves from the pack, but I think the Aggies will win this game on the road. Texas A&M 28 – Arkansas 21

Steven: Outside of Alabama, Texas A&M has looked the next best in the SEC West division. The competition hasn’t been great, but the Aggies have dominated.  Arkansas is definitely on the upswing, but probably doesn’t have the ability to control the line of scrimmage like the veteran Aggie team.  I expect the Razorbacks to sling the ball around as much as possible to keep pace with A&M.  I’d love to see the upset, but think the Aggies win a shootout.  TAM 42-38.

TroutI am picking the Aggies, but I think it’ll be closer than people think. A&M has not been the powerhouse they hoped they’d become under Jimbo FIsher. I don’t believe they are very talented. They may end up being a 9-3, or 10-2 team, but they will not stand a chance against the likes of Alabama, or even Florida or Georgia. The Razorbacks are not a great team either. They are currently 3-0, but they have played small, insignificant schools. Although I am not high on either, I do think the Aggies are the better team. The game should be very close, most likely coming down to one score. The Aggies pull off the narrow victory. (Texas A&M, 27-24)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  I am going with the Hogs!!! Arkansas 28 – TAMU 21 

Final Score:  Arkansas 20  Texas A&M 10

(9)Clemson  @  NC State

Andy:  In another head scratcher this season, Clemson which has traditionally been a talented high scoring offense has struggled to get points on the board so far this season. Against Georgia that is understandable given how talented and well coached their defense is.. against Georgia Tech that is another story. Clemson and it’s starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei need to find a solution and quick if they want to get rolling this season. I think this is great opportunity given how much more talented they are than NC State.   Clemson 31  NC State 14

Coach Rick:  I think Clemson is overrated this season, but will win this game by 17.

Cory:  Buckeye fans, upset about their team’s offense apparently did not watch Clemson last week. The Tigers have struggled mightily this year including scoring just three points in a loss to Georgia and limping their way to 14 points in an unimpressive win over Georgia Tech last week. Against the Yellow Jackets quarterback DJ Uiagalalei averaged a lowly 5.0 yards per attempt. On the season he’s got just one passing touchdown and two interceptions. Yuck. The good news for Clemson is that the schedule is pretty easy from here on out. North Carolina State has a balanced offense but if you can slow down running back Zonovan Knight (8.2 yards per carry) then you stand a good chance to win. It may be ugly but expect Clemson to come out on top in this win.   Clemson 17, North Carolina State 13

Dave:  Clemson 28  NC State 17  

GreggClemson only has 2 touchdowns against FBS competition and have more questions on offense than OSU has on defense.  When you listen to Dabo in interviews he really sounds like he has no idea how to fix it but they are going to need to score some points to win this one.  North Carolina has played pretty well this year but will they improve enough to defeat the defending ACC champs.  As much as I would like to be wrong on this one, I think the Tigers do just enough to pull out the victory, but may drop in the polls once again.   Clemson 27  NC State 24

Jason:  The Tiger offense is a big issue, only mustering a 14-8 win a week ago over Georgia Tech, and although they hung 49 on South Carolina State, they couldn’t get it going against Georgia in the opener either. While the defense has been great, the offense has been abysmal. The Clemson defense might be deep and outstanding, but it lost DT Tyler Davis to a torn bicep and if NC State can put a few points on the board, its defense is good enough to keep the Tigers in check. WolfPack QB Devin Leary has been good, but the defense he will go up against on Saturday will be a new kind of challenge. NC State has a very good defense, plenty of veterans on offense and is talented enough to keep this game interesting. The bottom line is, the Tigers are just too good on defense and  just waiting for DJ Uiagalelei to break out. This game won’t be it, but he will hit on enough throws and the Clemson D will suffocate the Pack offense and Clemson will escape with a hard fought road win.  Clemson 24 NC State 21

Joe-S-U:  Clemson

John: Like Ohio State, Clemson is a preseason projected playoff team with a first year starting QB that has failed to impress so far this year.  In prior years, the Tigers beat this NC State team like a drum.  This year, they should be able to do just enough to get a W.   Clemson 24  NC State 17

JoshClemson has not looked like they have their offense figured out, but have been helped out by there defense. The best chance NC State has at winning this game is with its passing game, but I think the Tigers will do enough to win. Clemson 35 – NC State 17

Steven:  Clemson is going to get knocked off this year, probably more than once.  Their offense is awful and the defense, while good, isn’t good enough to win games alone.  I’ve seen the Wolfpack, and they are a decent, serviceable team.  Serviceable will do for this week.  NC State 28-21.

TroutClemson will win this game, but it’ll be closer than people think. Much like Ohio State, the Tigers have not played up to their abilities. They couldn’t score a touchdown against Georgia, and they barely snuck by a bad Georgia tech team. They have a lot of issues that need to be fixed. Having said that, they are still better than NC State. They should be able to do just enough to get by with the victory. It won’t be pretty, and I see the Wolf Pack sticking with them through most of the game. However, in the end, Clemson’s talent will win out. (Clemson 24-17)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  Although it’s not common knowledge, Clemson is not playing well offensively this year. An offensive showing over NC State might spark some post season fervor for the Clemson fans. The Wolfpack had such high hopes to open to open the season only to be deflated. The Clemson Tigers upend the North Carolina State Wolfpack 35- 10.

Final Score:  NC State 27  Clemson 20  2OT

Rutgers  @  (19)Michigan

Andy:  Michigan has looked the part this season, not just on offense but on defense as well. Michigan has outscored their opponents 141 to 34 in three games this season. Michigan has found their identity this season and if you’ve watched them play at all it is easy to see.. they’re a running team. The Wolverines have run 49 pass plays this season to 147 running plays in just three games. Nearly 4x as many running plays to pass plays this season. Despite that quarterbacks McNamara and McCarthy have averaged completing nearly 66% of their passes and have not surrendered a single turn over yet. Rutgers has a similar offensive philosophy to Michigan, their ratios just aren’t as lopsided. They’ve run twice as many run plays to pass plays this season and they haven’t struggled to beat any of their three opponents. So which will give first this weekend, Rutgers rush defense or Michigans? My money is on the Wolverines coming out on top.   Michigan 31  Rutgers 21

Coach Rick:  Rutgers is a scary team this season scoring a lot points.  If Michigan has any more major injuries, they will have a very long season.  I think this is going to be a high scoring game overall, but that team up north wins in the end.   

Cory:  Watching this Michigan team reminds me of some of Harbaugh’s teams at Stanford. They run the ball very well, they feature a very sound defense, and the quarterback play is good enough to scare you. Yes, the Wolverines look legit. In their three games they’ve put up over 1,000 rushing yards. Read that again – 1,000 rushing yards in three games. Blake Corum, Hassan Haskins, Donovan Edwards make up a three-headed monster that so far has not been close to being stopped. Coming to Ann Arbor this week is an improved Rutgers team that is 3-0. The Scarlet Knights do a good job taking care of the football as they’ve turned it over just once in three games, and they will need to continue to do so if they have any hope of pulling off the upset. They will also need running back Isaiah Pacheco to do better than his 3.4 yards per carry.   Michigan 38, Rutgers 13

Dave:  Michigan 32  Rutgers 14  

Gregg Both these teams are playing better this season. Coach Shiano is really working his magic in his second tour of duty in New Jersey.  Michigan has been impressive and putting up a lot of yards and a lot of points against clearly inferior opponents. The Woverines seemed to be playing more inspired and the fans are getting into football once again in Ann Arbor.  They get plenty to cheer about this week as Michigan gets a solid win this week.  Michigan 34  Rutgers 27

Jason:  Michigan has not been challenged early, but part of that is a product of their schedule.  They are gaining momentum and confidence but Rutgers has the talent to get the upset.  The Scarlet Knights are third in the nation in turnover margin and lead the country in giveaways, yet to turn it over. They haven’t played a big time schedule, but they have yet to allow more than 261 yards, and they’re good enough up front to bring pressure. Michigan doesn’t throw the ball well and will lean on their dynamic running game, leading the country with over 330 yards per game. While Rutgers has a penchant for turning teams over, Michigan hasn’t had an issue in that area and they have the defense to keep the Knights in check.  As long as the Wolverines don’t get bit by the turnover bug, this one should be all Wolverines. Expect Michigan to continue to run, run and run some more, chew clock and move the chains until Rutgers proves they can stop it. They won’t and Rutgers doesn’t have the explosiveness on offense to answer.  Look for Michigan to pull away in the second half and cruise to 4-0, setting up a big one in Madison next week.   Michigan 42 Rutgers 17

Joe-S-U: TBGUN (Bonus points readers if you know what TBGUN stands for, a Buckeye50 original)

John:  Capt. Khaki appears to have the Wolve’s back to their normal September world beater selves.  We’ll see how they fair when they play a quality opponent.  As much as I like what Greg Schiano is doing with the Knight’s, we’ll have to wait one more week when the Maize and Blue go to Madtown to play the Badgers for that.   Michigan   38  Rutgers 10

JoshIn a game where both teams have yet to turn the ball over this year, that could be the difference in this game. As good as Rutgers has been under Schiano, I think the rushing attack of Michigan will be too much. Michigan 42 – Rutgers 24.

Steven:  Wow, has Michigan looked good so far this season.  An emergent run game has become their engine of success. If Michigan can build on the first few weeks of the season, old Jimmy might just have saved his job.  It has taken years, but UM finally has an identity, and looks to be a serious contender for the Big Ten East title.  Rutgers is similarly enjoying a resurgence under head coach Greg Schiano.  It will take a tremendous defensive effort to stop the Michigan rushing attack.  Not that the Big House means much anymore in the way of a home field advantage, Rutgers is still on the road and their fans don’t travel like the Buckeye faithful, so give UM an extra field goal for being at home.  Who knows, they just might need it.  UM 31-28

Trout: The Wolverines will win this game, but I see the Scarlet Knights keeping the game close for a while. Michigan is clearly the better team, and they have looked really good the first three weeks of the season. Granted that’s against bad teams. I think Rutgers has improved under Greg Schiano, but they are not there just yet. I see their ceiling this year, being around 6-6. I see the game being a one score affair until the fourth quarter, where Michigan superior talent wins out and they are able to pull away with one or two scores. Wolverines win a hard fought battle against the Scarlet Knights. (Michigan, 35-21)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): The Wolverines are playing like they understand what it means to be offensive. Rutgers had their opportunity to beat the weasels last year and soiled on themselves. Although they might not soil on themselves, I see them loosing a tough fought battle 31-24 to the other yellow meat.

Final Score:  Michigan 20   Rutgers 13 

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