Game Preview: #1 Grand Valley State vs. Northern Michigan

Tomorrow I am going to two games. I will be at the first half of the Valpo game against Marist. Then it is up to Michigan to see a battle between two Michigan schools. No it is not the game that most of the country will have their eyes on. #17 Michigan State travels to #18 Michigan for a huge matchup. I will be at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Michigan to see the #1 ranked school in Division 2 take the field. This is my first game this season seeing Grand Valley play in person. I have seen a little of them on TV, but the majority of my knowledge comes from Grand Valley is coming off a huge win last week at Tiffin. They scored 71 points, and moved the ball at will. I will not get into the stats too much, but the Lakers had multiple guys that had career days. That usually means good things for your program.

Tomorrow is homecoming for the Lakers, and the fans seem to be excited for the game. Tickets sold out much earlier than any other regular season game that I have seen. Of course I only know that because I have standing room only tickets.Things have really changed in Allendale even in the short time I have been attending game there. Winning will do that to any program. The last time I was in Lubbers was last December when the Lakers were in the Division 2 playoffs. The snow was really coming down that day. They had to keep clearing the field off every chance they got. It was a great game that ended in the storming of the field that has become the norm lately. We won’t be on the field tomorrow, but I am sure that sold out crowd will add to the excitement.

The other game that I will be attending is the Valpo University game against Marist. We will be stopping by here just for a half. I almost did not include it in the picks below because I know so little about both teams. Valpo is 0-5 under first year coach Dale Carlson. They were really clobbered last weekend, and I don’t see the team improving that much in one week. Thankfully Marist is not too great either. They come in with a 1-3 record on the season. From my experiences at Valpo the home crowd advantage is not a big deal so I gave the game to Marist. If you want a good read the head coach operates a blog that he actually writes. You can see a little into what the team is thinking on the Valpo Football Blog. I ended up picking the game below, and gave it a weird score because I really don’t know what to expect. It is one big guess on my part.

The game that I will be watching when I get home is the Purdue game at Northwestern. The Wildcats come into the game 5-0 and are ranked #25. Purdue comes limping in off of a bye week with many questions. I think the Boilers have a chance to win the game, but everything must go their way. If they do not win the slim chance of post season play goes out the window. At the end of the day I think that Northwestern is to diciplined, and they will start their season 6-0. Pat Fitzgerald is a good coach that has really turned things around for the Wildcats. The team really seems to take on his personality. I would give Purdue more of a chance if the offense is clicking, but the defense really has not stepped it up yet. The units that I thought would be the strengths of the team have not. On the plus side though the secondary has looked good so far this season. I will be rooting to get this game wrong as I watch the game. Last season the Boilers had the game in their hands, but literally fumbled it away. A horrible stretch of football created a hole that they could not get out of, and ultimately was one of the reason they did not go bowling.

The game with the two ranked Michigan schools is interesting. The Wolverines have one of the most explosive players in the college game right now, and are playing at home. That being said I am really on the Michigan State bandwagon right now. I think that the Spartans will be the last team standing when it is all said and done. I even went so far as to have a two point conversion be the deciding factor in the game. Michigan State has been all out so far this season. It could be that do or die mentality that is the difference in the game. If the gutsy calls don’t go their way the Michigan crowd will be happy.

Predictions: As I said in yesterdays post this will be an interesting week. Here is how I think things will shake out:

  • #2 Ohio State 42 – Indiana 14
  • #10 Utah 31 – Iowa State 24
  • #20 Wisconsin 42 – Minnesota 14
  • #17 Michigan State 36 – #18 Michigan 35
  • Penn State 20 – Illinois 17
  • #14 Florida 24 – #12 LSU 17
  • #24 Missouri 35 – Colorado 17
  • Northwestern 34 – Purdue 17
  • Marist 18 – Valpo 15
  • #1 Grand Valley State 56 – Northern Michigan 24

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