Joe Ostrowski is the executive producer of The Laurence Holmes Show & can be heard on Saturdays 8pm-midnight on The Joe O & Rock Show.
Purdue(2-2) @ Northwestern(5-0) – 6:30pm
NW favored by 9.5
The Wildcats are still flying under the radar. A home win over Purdue under the lights would give Northwestern a 6-0 start a couple weeks into Big Ten play. The talk in Evanston isn’t about getting to a bowl, but winning a bowl game. The dual threat of Dan Persa at quarterback has led the Cats offense…12 tds, 2 ints, & 79% completion. Every phase of Purdue’s offense has been crushed by a torn acl. Out for the season are QB Robert Marve, RB Ralph Bolden, & WR Keith Smith. After last week’s scare against an awful Minnesota team, Pat Fitzgerald should have his team ready to stay undefeated. GO CATS! The Boilermakers have had 2 weeks to prepare & Northwestern seems to play everyone close. Tough one to pick, but the Wildcats should win by two scores. The under is 7-1 in their last 8 meetings.
PICK: NW –9.5
Illinois(2-2) @ Penn State(3-2) – 11am
PSU favored by 7.5
Illinois head coach Ron Zook is calling this week’s matchup in Beaver Stadium A MUST WIN. Keeping it close all game like last week against Ohio State isn’t enough. Illini nation is looking to move above .500 & Penn St needs to avoid their 3rd loss after being knocked out of the top 25 this week. Two of JoePa’s losses have been on the road against Alabama & Iowa. The Nittany Lion defense has allowed just 15 points per game. Penn St struggled with Temple at home two weeks ago. Illinois needs to hand it off to Mikel LeShoure and get him going at 6.2 yards per carry. Zooker needs a tough Big Ten road win. Illinois should have some confidence after hanging with the #2 team in the nation. ATS the Illini are 3-1 & PSU is 1-4.
PICK: ILL +7.5
Pittsburgh(2-2) @ Notre Dame(2-3) – 2:30pm
ND favored by 6
It was looking like it was going to be rough intro to South Bend for Brian Kelly. Last week’s domination of Boston College on the road has the Irish thinking of going 3-3 in a tough stretch to start the season. The key to the victory was starting fast for the first time this year. Pitt fans are disappointed with their 2-2 start. They’re still recovering from a 4 touchdown home loss to The U on a Thursday night two weeks ago. The Panthers have won this game the last two years by a combined 8 points. This Notre Dame team is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 at Notre Dame Stadium. Pittsburgh won’t be held to 10 rushing yards like BC. Wanny keeps it close.
PICK: PITT +6
#17 Michigan State(5-0) @ #18 Michigan(5-0) – 2:30pm
MICH favored by 4.5
Denard Robinson’s first real test is here. The Denard doubters will keep a close eye on The Big House this Saturday. The Wolverines QB is leading the nation in rushing with 181 yards a game. Robinson is 95 rushing yards away from reaching 1,000 in the 6th game of the year. He’s also expected to surpass the 2,000 total yards mark. Michigan State is ranked 20th in the country against the run. Get ready for the press box shots on tv every 22 seconds. Spartan head coach, Mark Dantonio, is expected to coach from there after suffering a mild heart attack & getting a blood clot in his leg over the last two weeks. Dantonio refuses to miss Michigan week. All the strong trends say this game is going over the total. Sparty & the Wolverines have combined to average 77 points per game this year. Michigan St is proving they belong with the big boys atop The Big Ten.
PICK: MSU +4.5
Indiana(3-1) @ #2 Ohio State(5-0) – 11am
OSU favored by 21.5
Word out of Columbus is that Terrell Pryor isn’t a 100% after straining his left quadriceps in the Buckeyes ugly win in Champaign last Saturday. With Pryor still ailing & Indiana giving up over 200 rushing yards a contest, expect Pryor to hand off, hand off, & hand off to Boom Herron. The Ohio State running back has 5 touchdowns this year, but has never had a 100-yard game for OSU. The 5-0 Buckeyes are going for their 16th straight win against the Hoosiers. Their quarterback, Ben Chappell, threw for 480 yards in last week’s shootout loss against Michigan. That won’t happen this week, but Indiana will score. The road team is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 matchups. Buckeyes win, but by 4 scores? It’s not The Vest’s style to run it up, but Oregon is gaining on them.
PICK: IND +21.5
USC(4-1) @ #16 Stanford(4-1) – 7pm
STAN favored by 10
What’s your deal? Two rich head coaches acting like 4th graders after Stanford rolled USC last year…one of my favorite moments of the ’09 college football season. The Trojans are coming off a loss to Washington & the Cardinal are coming off a spanking at the hands of the Oregon Ducks. Jim Harbaugh is going to punch Lane Kiffin right in the mouth like he did last season to Pete Carroll. Many consider Stanford’s Andrew Luck as the best all around signal caller in the country. Luck has 15 touchdowns, 13 of those passing. USC’s defense is ranked #116 against the pass. Stanford is 12-3 ATS in their last 15 home games. The Trojans 3-11 ATS in their last 14 Pac-10 games & 1-8 ATS in their last 9 on grass. Harbaugh will run it up once again if given the opportunity. A nice bounces back conference victory.
PICK: STAN –10