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Week #1 B1G Ole Preview - Part 2

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Eastern Michigan (0-0) at Maryland (0-0)


The Matchup-
Coachless Eastern Michigan walks into Maryland on Saturday morning, just hoping to leave with a little moral. TSweezys Maryland boys on the other hand have something to prove, being ranked by the computer polls as one of the best teams in the B1G and the country, they want to show everyone they are indeed for real.


What to Watch For


Eastern Michigan - Rumbling Runner
One of the few standout pieces on this Eastern Michigan squad is the running back, (So) Tyler Pearson. A 4.0/5.0 already, this guy ran for over 1,000 yards with 4.81 YPC last year, and is clearly a threat to pummel opposing defenses if they are not prepared for him.


Maryland - Breakout Talent
There is a lot of very skilled players on this Maryland team, with a shocking number of 5.0s all over the roster. The real question is why this team did not do better last year, when a lot of these guys were already around. If Maryland wants to live up to their lofty rankings this year, they need these guys to start playing up to their talent level on both sides of the ball.


The Prediction
This one will likely get very ugly. There is a lot of good stuff to say about Maryland, who happens to be at home and playing a coachless squad, while I don’t have much to say positively about EMU. This one should be over in the first half, and if it isn’t Maryland fans should be alarmed that they are still struggling to put this talent to use against a team they should smoke pretty easily.


EMU 6 - Maryland 42


Minnesota (0-0) at Florida International (0-0)

The Matchup-
Another team that the polls really love to start the year, Lucas and the Golden Gophers are looking to compete for a B1G Championship this year, and would love to get off to a good start in Florida. Rocketcans FIU guys on the other hand are a team on the build a bit, benefitting heavily from the rich Florida recruiting bed, but still lack a little experience and top level talent that could really help them in a game like this.


What to Watch For


Minnesota- Lynch Votes
True Senior Robert Lynch (5.0/5.0) is the catalyst of this offense and this whole team. He has gone under the radar a bit in years past, in part because Minnesota has been good but not great among the B1G teams, but his stats have been tremendous nonetheless. Seeing that the talent on this team is largely starting to catch up to him, I am expecting a big year from him with possible Heisman votes headed his way, and the road to that being right now in week 1, especially against a rather questionable group of CBs.


FIU- Fresh Legs
Not a whole lot stands out on this roster when compared to a team like the Gophers, but debuting running back (Fr) Marcos Orellana looks to be a very promising player who would love to get off to a hot start. With a decent oline in front of him, he should be a threat despite being a little raw (2.0/4.5) and is certainly a threat to have some big games running the football.


The Prediction-
Another one that looks like it will likely be over early. I greatly respect Rocketcan as a coach, and I think FIU could be competitive in a few years with good recruiting classes, they simply are not equipped to take on this Gophers team, especially in the passing game. I expect Lynch and his WRs to eat this secondary alive and get off to a hot offensive start out of conference. 


MIN 38 - FIU 10


Western Kentucky (0-0) at Iowa (0-0)

The Matchup-
If you did not look at Western Kentucky’s depth chart, you would probably expect this to be yet another soft target to start the season for an up and coming B1G squad, but in actuality the Hilltoppers appear to have the talent to hang with a lot of teams. They certainly have weak points, but a fair amount of pro talent to cover for it. WriglyFan’s Iowa squad is fairly similar but without as many glaring weaknesses, and a much tougher schedule to work through. This is a team that is tough to predict for me, so this game should be a good barometer for their success on the season.


What to Watch For-


Western Kentucky - Two Headed Monster
The most interesting part of the Western Kentucky team to me is their running backs, as they have a pair of pro talented and pro ready guys forming a thunder and lightning duo in a potential 2 RB system. Their oline is a little suspect in spots, so it remains to be seen if it holds them back at all, but I think they have a chance to have a big year and put the new depth chart positions at RB to good use.


Iowa - High Soaring Hawkeyes
When looking at this Hawkeye team, there's two things that really stand out. The first is that this offense looks really good, combining a very talented passing game with a good runner and hybrid QB to keep things balanced. The second thing you notice is that the defense, is not very talented. They have some talent at Dline and Safety, but otherwise this is the obvious weakness of the team. They should be able to hold the Hilltopper offense in check for the most part, but it's going to take a good offensive performance to carry this team through the year, and they should look to get off to a hot start this week to set the tone.


The Prediction-
Western has the talent to hang in this game, but with question marks at coach (do they even have one?) and Iowa holding the home field advantage, it think Iowa will be able to take over in the second half and pull away for a comfortable win.


WKU 17 - IOWA 30


Purdue (0-0) at Syracuse (0-0)


The Matchup
Inspiral2 starts off the season with one of the better matchups of the week, taking his Boilermakers to New York to face his alma mater (I think?). The Boilermakers have not been quite the same since Matt Jones took off for his NFL career, but are hoping to be back in the top of the conference this year with a deep roster. Syracuse debuts a new coach in their home opener, with CoachAnson trying to show he can hang with one of the best coaches around in the carrier dome. Syracuse brings in a similarly deep, if slightly less talented squad into this game, and should have a shot to make it a close one with home field advantage.


What to Watch For-


Purdue - Boiler Bombers
As talented as the Purdue offense is looking, and it is quite talented, the defense is where this team seems to really shine. A solid Dline, headlined by JR DE Landon Crowder, combined with a good second level and secondary, should be enough to stifle the Syracuse offense in most spots, and has the potential to be one of the better defenses in the B1G as the year develops.


Syracuse - Safety First
Two red shirt Seniors with pro talent at safety highlight the best of this Syracuse team. A mean pair in the defensive backfield, it's going to be tough for many teams to get big plays down the field against this defense. The downside of this pairing is the mixed schemes they have, but I would bet that the talent is enough to overcome any weaknesses there and make them one of the better backfield tandems in the league this year.


The Prediction-
Syracuse has home field advantage, and seems to have the talent to at least hang with this Purdue team, if not make it go down to the wire. That said, its hard to bet against Inspiral2, one of the best coaches in football at any level, and the depth of their squad really gives them an edge in any grind it out type of game. I’ll take Purdue to take this one on the road, and give the rest of the B1G a notice they are back in contention for big things. 


Purdue 28 - Syracuse 17 


Nebraska (0-1) at Texas Tech (0-0)


The Matchup-
Coming off a fairly brutal loss against maybe the best team in the country in Auburn, Nebraska looks to bounce back and show they still have the talent to compete with the mortal teams of the league. On the home side, Acewulfs Red Raiders have a big challenge ahead of them after losing the engine of their offense, Solomon, to the NFL. While they still have the depth and talent to take over, this should be a great matchup of teams who lost some key players to the NFL but look to keep the momentum alive despite the losses.


What to Watch For-


Nebraska- A Fresh Start
Not a whole lot went right for Nebraska in week zero, and there were not too many bright spots to see as they were smashed by a clearly superior team. Against Texas Tech they get a second chance to show that they can make some impact, and I think just about any players they have could stand out in this game. It may be a bit of a cop out from me, but the opportunity for guys to break out stands out more than any particular player, and it will be key for Nebraska to establish some sort of rhythm on offense for the season going forward.


Texas Tech- No Moss
Maybe it's because I had such a good time with D.J. Barnes in the slot, but I love that Acewulf is giving senior KR Tyson Moss a shot as the slot receiver. It remains to be seen how this offense runs without Solomon carrying the load, but as the most talented player on this offense and special teams, Tyson Moss is going to have to carry a fairly heavy burden to keep this team running at the same level as last year. I expect they will be looking to get the ball in his hands to make some big plays whenever they can.


The Prediction-
This one has the opportunity to be one of the tightest games of the week, and likely one of the best games I have gotten to preview this week. In what should be a good barometer for both of these teams, and one I am not really clear on the outcome, I have to take my B1G bias and give Nebraska the edge on the road. 


Nebraska 27 - Texas Tech 21


Wisconsin (0-0) at Georgia (0-0)


The Matchup-
A matchup of mighty foes, Taffy vs Franz in a battle between what feels like two of the longest tenured coaches around. The Badgers bring a deep team to the table, but despite their depth they lack talent at several spots (Wiscy with a poor oline?? Madness) which leaves them a bit vulnerable to top tier teams. Georgia shows similar depth but with a generally more well rounded team, and should give the Badgers a fierce challenge in the opener.


What to Watch For-


Wisconsin- Taking Away the Middle
While Wisconsin's oline may not be the strength that most are used to, they do have some great players on the other side of the ball on the Dline that look like they could slow down any offenses looking to run it up the gut. Combine that with their young but talented ILB Grant Morrison, it should be tough to take advantage of anything over the middle against this Wiscy defense, and could give a lot of teams trouble taking away the middle third.


Georgia- Flying Bulldogs
This Georgia offense is no joke, with talent all across the board. While they could probably have success no matter which way they go with the ball, but looking at their WR talent and Wisconsin’s suspect secondary, JR Zeke Burnett should be able to have a big day and toss it all around all day. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 3 or 4 touchdown game out of the 4.0/5.0 qb, and it’s tough to see Wisconsin slowing him down.


The Prediction-
Wiscy has the chance to be a competitive team this year, and should be a bowl bound team with the talent they have on board at the least. Georgia on the other hand looks like a playoff bound squad, and they seem like more than a match for the Badgers, especially with the home field on their side. This one may get ugly as well, but for the first prediction of the week, the ugliness is not on the side of the B1G boys. 



Wiscy 17 - Georgia 38

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5 hours ago, fever_ful said:

The real question is why this team did not do better last year

I think I can answer that one 

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I got my PhD from Syracuse.


This is gonna be a tough one though. My offense is recharging and this year may see some of my streaks end.

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