Sep 13, 2012

Big Ten Week Three Preview

Michigan State (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) and Notre Dame (2-0) meet in a battle of top 20 programs. The Irish hold an 18-15-1 advantage in East Lansing. Michigan State is second all-time in victories over Notre Dame (28, behind USC’s 35).

Ohio State (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) survived a scare against UCF last week, prevailing, 31-16, and host California on Saturday. Quarterback sensation Braxton Miller averages 332.0 total yards per game… the exact same number of yards that the Buckeye defense is allowing this season.

Northwestern (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) looks to extend its consecutive nonconference home winning streak to 12 games when they host Boston College (1-1, 0-1 ACC) at Ryan Field. The Wildcats have never lost to BC in Evanston (2-0 all-time).

Penn State(0-2, 0-0) is looking for their first victory of the Bill O’Brien era when they host Navy at Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions are allowing just 103.5 rushing yards per game.

Nebraska(1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) looks to get back on the winning track after a 36-30 road defeat to UCLA when they host Arkansas State (1-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) at Memorial Stadium. Taylor Martinez needs just 228 passing yards to jump into the Nebraska’s top five career list.

Illinois(1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) returns to Memorial Stadium after a 45-14 loss at Arizona State last week. The Fighting Illini look to stretch their undefeated streak against FCS schools to 12 games when they host the Buccaneers.

Purdue(1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) host Eastern Michigan for the first time since 1991. The Boilermaker defense is allowing just 13.0 PPG and 78.5 YPG on the ground in 2012.

Minnesota(2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) will try to stay perfect all-time against Western Michigan when they host the Broncos at TCF Bank Stadium. In three previous meetings, the Gophers have allowed just 5.6 PPG.

Michigan(1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) looks to improve on their 30-1 all-time record against the Mid-American Conference when they welcome UMass to the friendly confines of the Big House. The last (and only) time the two played the Minutemen nearly pulled off the upset, falling 42-37 in 2010.

Iowa(1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) faces Northern Iowa in a series that has seen a 14-1 advantage in favor of the Hawkeyes (UNI’s only win came 114 years ago). Kirk Ferentz will try to bounce back after a 9-6 loss to in-state rival Iowa State.

Indiana(2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) hosts Ball State (1-1, 1-0) in Bloomington. Indiana is averaging 528.5 yards per game, this season, but must deal with the loss of quarterback Tre Roberson to a leg injury.

Wisconsin (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) will try to get back on track when they welcome Utah State to Madison after a 10-7 loss at Oregon State last week. Utah State won the only previous matchup, a 20-0 win in Madison in 1968.


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