It’s been a tough few weeks in Pigskin Picks for yours truly.
I’m not here to make excuses, nor will I ask for any sympathy.
I’m in the basement, much like The Black Keys were in the early 2000’s when they recorded their very first record, “The Big Come Up,” in drummer Patrick Carney’s basement in Akron, Ohio.
The Keys, comprised of Carney and guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach, have gone on to achieve widespread success, earning multiple Grammy awards and headlining sold-out arena shows across the country, including a recent stop at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.
Carney and Auerbach have demonstrated that it’s possible to get out of the basement, and that’s what I intend to do this week.
Here’s my picks:
Corunna at Owosso
Owosso rolls into Week 7 fresh off its first victory of the season, as a last-second field goal by Noah Jafri pushed the Trojans past Clio, 41-38. There’s little time for celebration though, as crosstown rival Corunna comes to Willman Field this week, led by quarterback Peyton Norton and wide receiver/defensive end Nick Steinacker. Owosso has stepped up the passing game in recent weeks with strong performances from Hunter Blaha, and a home-field advantage should bode well for the Trojans tonight, but in the words of Lee Corso: “Not so fast my friend.” The Cavaliers take this one, avenging last year’s 23-18 loss … Corunna 35, Owosso 24.
Durand at Montrose
The Railroaders have had an up-and-down season thus far, and a road test against Montrose doesn’t make things any easier this week. Durand fell 58-14 at the hands of New Lothrop last week, as the Hornets’ back-up quarterback Cam Orr rushed for a school-record seven touchdowns on 20 carries against the Railroaders. Add that to the fact that the Rams are well rested, after defeating Otisville Lakeville last week via forfeit. Despite Durand’s talented backfield that features Kyle Winslow and Tyler Purdy, it won’t be enough …. Montrose 42, Durand 21.
Chesaning at New Lothrop
Regardless of whether All-State quarterback Avery Moore suits up this week for New Lothrop, expect the Hornets to roll. Chesaning has been plagued with injuries thus far this season, losing four straight by considerable margins. I expect the Indians to turn things around, but not against No. 1-ranked New Lothrop. The Hornets will have a happy homecoming … New Lothrop 52, Chesaning 10.
Byron at Ovid-Elsie
The Eagles are on a roll, outscoring opponents 143-12 in their last three games. Ovid-Elsie has shown signs of life after an 0-2 start, with strong showings against Chesaning and Mount Morris, but Byron quarterback Jack Selon is a force to be reckoned with this season. The Eagles offense will travel well … Byron 38, Ovid-Elsie 13.
Stockbridge at Perry
Perry stands at 3-3 with just a few weeks to go in the regular season. It’s been tough to gauge the Ramblers this year, as the team has turned in a series of up-and-down performances, marked by an impressive 27-21 victory over Leslie last week. It’s time to find out if the they’re contenders or pretenders. With a favorable schedule the rest of the way, starting tonight at home against a 1-win Stockbridge team, I think the Ramblers get it done … Perry 27, Stockbridge 17.
Middleton Fulton at Laingsburg
At first glance, one would think Laingsburg should easily win this contest. I mean, a 4-2 team at home versus a 2-4 team — seems like the Wolfpack would be the obvious choice, right? I’m not entirely convinced. Laingsburg and Middleton Fulton have stacked up pretty evenly against the same competion this year, as both teams cruised past Saranac and were subsequently dominated by Pewamo-Westphalia. The Wolfpack haven’t lost to the Pirates since 2014, but that changes tonight … Middleton Fulton 28, Laingsburg 24.
Morrice at Flint International
If there’s one thing I know about the Morrice Orioles, it’s that this team knows how to win football games. The undefeated streak continues on the road this week, though the game will be closer than Morrice has been accustomed to this season … Morrice 30, Flint International 20.
Flushing at Fenton
The Fenton Tigers have lost to the Flushing Raiders for two years straight. At home, in the midst of a 5-1 season, the third time will be the charm … Fenton 31, Flushing 27.
Michigan at Illinois
Despite what head coach Jim Harbaugh said in his postgame remarks following a 10-3 victory over Iowa, the Michigan offense has yet to find a consistent rhythm this season. Luckily for Harbaugh, Don Brown has once again produced an elite defense for the Wolverines. A less than stellar opponent in Illinois should allow Michigan ample opportunity to sort out its offensive woes, and they’ll need to, as a trip to Happy Valley looms next week. I’ll take the Wolverines to cover this week … Michigan 35, Illinois 10.
Michigan State at Wisconsin
Despite being longtime rivals, Michigan State and Michigan have a lot in common when it comes to their football teams this season. Both squads are anchored by an elite defense, but offensive shortcomings have kept each team in the mitten state from reaching its full potential. The tough October schedule continues for Michigan State this week as the Spartans head to Camp Randall to face off against Wisconsin. I expect it to be another long afternoon for the green and white … Wisconsin 31, Michigan State 14.
Penn State at Iowa
The Nittany Lions have asserted themselves as a contender for the Big Ten title so far this season, but as any college football fan in the Midwest will tell you, playing under the lights at Kinnick Stadium is no easy feat. I expect Kirk Ferentz’s Hawkeyes to come out hungry after a frustrating loss at Michigan last week. Iowa City should be rocking, and with an experienced quarterback at the helm in Nate Stanley, the Hawkeyes will pull off the upset … Iowa 27, Penn State 24.
Lions at Packers
The Lions have won four straight against Green Bay, including two straight at Lambeau field. Add that to the fact that Detroit went toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago, and you’d have to think the Lions will come out hungry for this one after the bye week. Matt Lafleur has the Packers playing at a higher level this season, but I expect Detroit to make a statement under the bright Monday night lights … Lions 27, Packers 20.